Yongming Yanshou's Conception of Chan in the Zongjing lu: A Special Transmission Within the Scriptures

Research output: Book/ReportBook

13 Scopus citations


Yongming Yanshou (904-975) has had a profound impact on the development of Buddhism in East Asia. Although Yanshou is known for his prolific output and wide-ranging scholasticism, Welter's study is the first in a Western language to address Yanshou's significance as a Chan master and provide a sustained analysis of an important aspect of his most significant work. In addition, by isolating the Chan fragments contained in the Zongjng lu (literally, Records of the Source-Mirror), and through comparisons of these Chan fragments with other leading Chan works of the period, the Zutang ji (Anthology of the Patriarch's Hall) and Jingde Chuandeng lu (Record of the Transmission of the Lamp compiled in the Jingde era), this study provides valuable insight into the development of Chan teaching at a critical phase in its development. As a result, the book is the first major attempt to change the generally accepted view of post-Tang Chan Buddhism-restoring Yanshou as a Chan master and as a widely influential proponent of a scripture-based Chan (in opposition to the rhetorical and iconoclastic Chan of the Linji school). In addition to analyzing an important aspect of Yanshou's magnum opus, the Zongjing lu, the book provides a complete, annotated translation of the first fascicle, and translations of numerous Chan fragments throughout. By suggesting Yanshou as an advocate of a Buddhist School of Principle, the book provides a new and exciting paradigm for Song intellectual history.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages400
ISBN (Electronic)9780199897322
ISBN (Print)9780199760312
StatePublished - Sep 22 2011


  • Chan
  • Chan scholasticism
  • Jingde chuandeng lu
  • School of principle
  • Yongming yanshou
  • Zongjing lu
  • Zutang ji

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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