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How Zen Became Chan: Pre-modern and Modern Representations of a Transnational East Asian Buddhist Tradition
July 29–31, 2022

This conference explores not only how we think about and refer to Chan/Zen/Seon/Thiền Buddhism in terms of historiographical, textual, archaeological, philological, philosophical, political or socio-economic analysis, but also what it means in the 21st century to use one of these pronunciations instead of another about a tradition with the well-known 10th – 12th century Chinese maxims about “a special transmission outside the teachings” (jiaowai biechuan 教外別傳) which does not “establish words and letters” (buli wenzi 不立文字). Various narratives about the early, middle, or modern history of Buddhist meditative practice and the monastic traditions of East and Southeast Asia emphasize trans-cultural, multi-ethnic and cross-regional production and transmission of texts, practices, rituals, and even teachers that contradict what is conveyed when we restrict ourselves to using either Chan or Zen or another single label. Yet even when investigating a tradition sometimes represented as fundamentally opposed to words and letters, we know that words, conveyance, and spaces matter.

This conference will follow a symposia format. Panelists will first address comments from session discussants, then exchange feedback with fellow panelists, and if time allows, respond to questions from public attendees.

Webpage: https://glorisunglobalnetwork.org/how-zen-became-chan

Schedule: https://glorisunglobalnetwork.org/how-zen-became-chan-schedule/
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