The Mystique of Transmission

On an Early Chan History and Its Context

Wendi L. Adamek

Columbia University Press

The Mystique of Transmission

Pub Date: May 2007

ISBN: 9780231136648

448 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $75.00£62.00

Pub Date: May 2007

ISBN: 9780231510028

448 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $74.99£62.00

The Mystique of Transmission

On an Early Chan History and Its Context

Wendi L. Adamek

Columbia University Press

The Mystique of Transmission is a close reading of a late-eighth-century Chan/Zen Buddhist hagiographical work, the Lidai fabao ji (Record of the Dharma-Jewel Through the Generations), and is its first English translation. The text is the only remaining relic of the little-known Bao Tang Chan school of Sichuan, and combines a sectarian history of Buddhism and Chan in China with an account of the eighth-century Chan master Wuzhu in Sichuan.

Chinese religions scholar Wendi Adamek compares the Lidai fabao ji with other sources from the fourth through eighth centuries, chronicling changes in the doctrines and practices involved in transmitting medieval Chinese Buddhist teachings. While Adamek is concerned with familiar Chan themes like patriarchal genealogies and the ideology of sudden enlightenment, she also highlights topics that make Lidai fabao ji distinctive: formless practice, the inclusion of female practitioners, the influence of Daoist metaphysics, and connections with early Tibetan Buddhism.

The Lidai fabao ji was unearthed in the early twentieth century in the Mogao caves at the Silk Road oasis of Dunhuang in northwestern China. Discovery of the Dunhuang manuscripts has been compared with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, as these documents have radically changed our understanding of medieval China and Buddhism. A crucial volume for students and scholars, The Mystique of Transmission offers a rare glimpse of a lost world and fills an important gap in the timeline of Chinese and Buddhist history.
An authoritative and illuminating study. Benjamin Bogin, Buddhadharma
Rigorous and engaging H-Buddhism
Wendi Adamek's elegantly written and skillfully executed book adds much toour growing understanding of the complex history that is Chan. Linda Penkower, The Journal of Asian Studies
Massive and masterful, insightful and thorough, articulate and engaging--the scholarship presented here is truly impressive. History of Religions
Acknowledgments
Part 1. The Mystique of Transmission
1. Authority and Authenticity
2. Transmission and Translation
3. Transmission and Lay Practice
4. Material Buddhism and the Dharma Kings
5. Robes and Patriarchs
6 Wuzhu and Others
7. The Legacy of the Lidai fabao ji
Part 2. Annotated Translation of the Lidai Fabao Ji
Section 1. Sources and the Legend of Emperor Ming of the Han
Section 2. Buddhism in China
Section 3. Transmission from China to India (the Fu fazang zhuan)
Section 4. The First Patriarch, Bodhidharmatrata
Section 5. The Second Patriarch, Huiki
Section 6. The Third Patriarch. Sengcan
Section 7. The Fourth Patriarch. Daoxin
Section 8. The Fifth Patriarch. Hongren
Section 9. The Sixth Patriarch. Huineng, Part 1
Section 10. Dharma Master Daoan and the Scripture Quotations
Section 11. Huineng Part 2
Section 12. Zhishen and Empress Qu
Section 13. Chan Master Zhishen
Section 14. Chan Master Chuji
Section 15. Chan Master Wuxiang
Section 16. The Venerable Shenhui
Section 17. Discourses of the Venerable Wuzhu
Section 18. Wuzhu and Wuxiang
Section 19. Du Hongjian's Arrival in Shu
Section 20. Du Hongjian and the Wuzhu Meet
Section 21. Cui Gan Visits the Wuzhu
Section 22. Dialogue with Chan Master Tiwu
Section 23. Dialogue with Chan Master Huiyi
Section 24. Dialogue with Masters Yijing, Zhumo, and Tangwen
Section 25. Dialogue with Master Jingzang
Section 26. Dialogue with Master Zhiyi
Section 27. Dialogue with Master Zhongxin
Section 28. Dialogue with Dharma Master Falun
Section 29. Dialogue with the Brothers Yixing and Huiming
Section 30. Dialogue with Changjingjin and Liaojianxing (Female Disciples)
Section 31. Excerpts and Quotations Part 1
Section 32. Excerpts and Quotations Part 2
Section 33. Tea Gatha
Section 34. Dialogue with Daoists
Section 35. Dialogue with Dharma Masters
Section 36. Dialogue with Vinaya Masters
Section 37. Dialogue with Treatise Masters
Section 38. Trading Quotations with Masters Daoyou, Mingfa, and Guanlu
Section 39. Taking on Chan Disciples While Drinking Tea
Section 40. Dialogue with Master Xiongjun
Section 41. Dialogue with Master Fayaun Accompanied by His Mother
Section 42. Discourse to Lay Honors
Section 43. Portrait-Eulogy and Final Scene
Notes
Appendix
Abbreviations
Bibliography
Index

Winner, 2017 Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion in Textual Studies

About the Author

Wendi L. Adamek is assistant professor of Chinese religions at Barnard College/Columbia University. She specializes in medieval Chinese Buddhism. Her current research interests include Buddhist nuns of the Tang dynasty, Buddhist donor practices, and religious art of the Silk Road.