Journal of Buddhist Ethics

An online journal of Buddhist scholarship related to ethics.

Zen Social Ethics: Zen, Ideology, and Prophetic Critique

ISSN 1076-9005
Volume 13, 2006

Not Buying into Words and Letters: Zen, Ideology, and Prophetic Critique

Christopher Ives
Stonehill College

Judging from the active participation of Zen leaders and institutions in modern Japanese imperialism, one might conclude that by its very nature Zen succumbs easily to ideological co-optation. Several facets of Zen epistemology and institutional history support this conclusion. At the same time, a close examination of Zen theory and praxis indicates that the tradition does possess resources for resisting dominant ideologies and engaging in ideology critique.

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