ASIAN 325 - Zen: History, Culture, and Critique
Section: 001
Term: FA 2009
Subject: Asian Studies (ASIAN)
Department: LSA Asian Languages & Cultures
Requirements & Distribution:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

The term “Zen” has entered the American vocabulary as a sort of synonym for words like “relaxing,” “peaceful,” “healthy,” and “focused.” We now have Zen breakfast cereals, Zen pipe cleaners, Zen singles services, and all manner of books beginning “Zen and the art of…” But what is Zen? Where did it come from? What does it teach? What does it mean to be a Zen Buddhist? In this course we will look at the Zen tradition from a variety of different perspectives. We will begin by familiarizing ourselves with some of the most common features of the tradition: dharma transmission, the lives of famous Zen monks, Zen meditation, and Zen “art”—especially as these things are represented from within the tradition itself. From this foundation we will take a more critical look at the development of Zen as it spread throughout East Asia. Focusing on the historical and cultural contexts of the tradition, we will re-examine some of the previous themes in light of recent scholarship on the topic. This course will also introduce students to some of the forms Zen has taken in the modern world. Along the way, we will glimpse some of the traditional and modern manifestations of Zen in East Asia and the West and will have the opportunity to sample some of the key texts, teachings, and critiques of both Zen masters and contemporary scholars.

ASIAN 325 - Zen: History, Culture, and Critique
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
MW 4:00PM - 5:30PM
004 (DIS)
F 1:00PM - 2:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 9780802110220
Zen, tradition and transition, Publisher: Grove Press 1988
ISBN: 9780880013444
The Roaring stream : a new Zen reader, Publisher: The Ecco Press 1996
ISBN: 9780895819024
Meditating with koans, Author: Zhuhong, 1535-1615., Publisher: Asian Humanities Press 1992
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