Kenan Institute Sponsored Cross-Cultural Workshop
Uncertain of Uncertainty? Certainly (Not): Illness and Wellness in Chan Buddhism
Time: 4:15pm – 5:45pm Thursday March 2nd
Location: Perkins 217
Steven Heine is professor and founding director of Asian Studies at Florida International University. An authority on East Asian religion and culture, Heine has published thirty books dealing with Chan/Zen Buddhism in China and Japan and related topics. His most recent work is Chan Rhetoric of Uncertainty in the Blue Cliff Record: Sharpening Sword at the Dragon Gate, and he is developing a new project on Dōgen’s classic, Treasury of the True Dharma-Eye (Shōbōgenzō).
Abstract: TheChinese Chan Buddhist notion of Uncertainty, or fundamental ambivalence and indeterminacy, serves as the basis for illness leading to anxiety and doubt when not understood and as the basis of wellness when its implications are appreciated and applied. In Chan, the antidote is the same as the ailment. This paper examines various Chan paradigms developed in twelfth century China for expressing Uncertainty, including gongan (kōan) cases, poetry and painting, ox-herding parables, and personal narratives of prominent monks who underwent suffering and redemption through engaging the meaning of indeterminacy.
* This talk is partially supported by the East Asian Religion Research Cluster Funds.