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[ book ] Buddhist Hermeneutics and East Asian Buddhist Interpreters

buddhisttranslSumi Lee. Buddhist Hermeneutics and East Asian Buddhist Interpreters: Delivering Dharma of No Dharma

«This book explores the hermeneutic question of how non-conceptual religious reality is conceptually interpreted in the Buddhist tradition. While interpreters of religion have to perform their task through the process of conceptualization of their subjects, religious reality is typically considered as transcending conceptual categorization. Noting this dilemmatic problem, this work discusses the issues involved in Buddhist hermeneutics. It consists of two parts, the first of which discusses possibilities and problems associated with Buddhist hermeneutics, through three different topics: two exegetic strategies of the Indian Buddhist tradition, interpretive problems in the realistic approach to Buddhism, and historicist interpretations of Buddhism in modern times. The second part examines particular interpretive approaches to reality in East Asian Buddhism, such as the Chinese meditative practice of kanhua Chan, the Korean scholar-monk Wŏnhyo’s (617–686) view on non-duality of buddha-nature, and the Japanese monk Kūkai’s (774–835) perspective on emptiness. By addressing these issues, this volume illuminates the fundamental hermeneutic challenge in Buddhism: how to deliver dharma of no dharma.»

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