Introduction to Buddhist East Asia

Edited by Robert H. Scott & James McRae

Subjects: Buddhism, Chinese Religion And Philosophy, Japanese Studies, Korean Studies, Asian Studies
Series: SUNY series in Asian Studies Development
Hardcover : 9781438492414, 340 pages, March 2023
Paperback : 9781438492421, 340 pages, September 2023

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Table of contents

Peter D. Hershock
Introduction to Buddhist East Asia: Origins, Core Doctrines, Transmission, and Schools
Robert H. Scott and James McRae

Part 1: Creative Pedagogies for Teaching Buddhist East Asia

1. Three Common Misconceptions about East Asian Buddhisms: On Women and Gender, Violence and Nonviolence, and Philosophy and Religion
Sarah A. Mattice

2. “Meditation Is the Embodiment of Wisdom”: Chan and Zen Buddhism in the Philosophy Classroom
Elizabeth Schiltz

3. The Possibility and Costs of Responsibly Teaching East Asian and Buddhist Philosophy
Mark Wells

4. Brains, Blades, and Buddhists: Pedagogical Skirmishes at the Intersection of Philosophy of Mind, the Way of the Sword, and Buddhism
Jesus Ilundain‑Agurruza

5. Revitalizing the Familiar: A Practical Application of Dōgen’s Transformative Zen
George Wrisley

Part 2: East Asian Buddhisms and the Humanities: Ethics, Art, and Politics

6. The Finger that Points to the Earth: East Asian Buddhism as a Conceptual Resource for Environmental Philosophy
James McRae

7. Ecological Self-understanding in Chinese Buddhism: Investigating an Epistemic Virtue
Jesse Butler

8. Wisdom and Compassion in Chinul, Korean Seon Buddhism, and Postmodern Ethics
Robert H. Scott

9. The Lovelorn Lady and the Stony Monk: Women, Sexuality, and Imagination in the Kegon Engi Emaki
Sujung Kim

10. The Spirit of Shaolin on Screen: Buddhism and Cultural Politics in Chinese Cinema
Melissa Croteau and Xin Zhang

11. A Century of Critical Buddhism in Japan
James Mark Shields

Glossary of East Asian Buddhist Terms
List of Contributors

Offers a variety of pedagogical and theoretical essays designed to assist professors in introducing undergraduate students to Buddhism in China, Korea, and Japan.


This anthology provides an accessible introduction to East Asian Buddhism, focusing specifically on China, Korea, and Japan. It begins with a detailed historical introduction that includes an overview of the development of the various schools of Buddhism in East Asia and traces the transmission of Buddhism from Northwest India to China in the first century CE, and then to Korea and Japan in the fourth and sixth centuries CE. The first part of the book contains five chapters that offer creative pedagogies that can help college professors infuse East Asian Buddhism into their courses. The second part includes six interdisciplinary chapters that explore thematic links between East Asian Buddhism and religious studies, philosophy, film studies, literature, and environmental studies.

Robert H. Scott is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Georgia. His previous books include The Significance of Indeterminacy: Perspectives from Asian and Continental Philosophy (coedited with Gregory Moss). James McRae is Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Westminster College. His previous books include Japanese Environmental Philosophy (coedited with J. Baird Callicott); Environmental Philosophy in Asian Traditions of Thought (coedited with J. Baird Callicott), also published by SUNY Press; and The Philosophy of Ang Lee (coedited with Robert Arp and Adam Barkman).


"This book provides useful pedagogical guidelines and advice for faculty interested in or considering the inclusion of East Asian Buddhism into their courses, as well as essays for undergraduate classrooms on specific topics of interest in Chinese, Korean, and Japanese Buddhist ethics, literature, art, film, and new religious-social movements." — Kin Cheung, Moravian University