Silent Accord : Qi 契 as a Metaphor for Enlightenment and Transmission in Chan Buddhist Discourse

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Järvelä , A & Tahtinen , T 2021 , ' Silent Accord : Qi 契 as a Metaphor for Enlightenment and Transmission in Chan Buddhist Discourse ' , Religions , vol. 12 , no. 4 , 279 . https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12040279

Title: Silent Accord : Qi 契 as a Metaphor for Enlightenment and Transmission in Chan Buddhist Discourse
Author: Järvelä, Aleksi; Tahtinen, Tero
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Doctoral Programme in History and Cultural Heritage
Date: 2021-04
Language: eng
Number of pages: 21
Belongs to series: Religions
ISSN: 2077-1444
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/334189
Abstract: In this paper, we explore the historical background and the semantic underpinnings of a central, if marginally treated, metaphor of enlightenment and transmission in Chan discourse, "silent accord" . It features centrally in Essentials of the Transmission of Mind (sic)(sic)(sic), a text that gathers the teachings of Chan master Huangbo Xiyun (d. ca. 850), a major Tang dynasty figure. "Silent accord" is related to the concept of mind-to-mind transmission, which lies at the very core of Chan Buddhist self-understanding. However, Chan historiography has shown that this self-understanding was partially a product of the Song dynasty lineage records, historically retroactive syncretic constructs produced by monks and literati as efforts towards doctrinal and political recognition and orthodoxy. There are thus lacunae in the history of Chan thought opened up by the retrospective fictions of Song dynasty, and a lack of reliable, dateable documents from the preceding Tang dynasty era, possibly fraught with later additions. We situate the metaphor "silent accord" in the history of Chan thought by searching for its origins, mapping its functions in Chan literature, arguing for its influence and thereby its role in helping to bridge the ninth century gap.
Subject: Chan (Zen) Buddhism
transmission
enlightenment
Huangbo Xiyun
Pei Xiu
silent accord
614 Theology
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