Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist
Philosophical Meditations on Zen Buddhism

Philosophical Meditations on Zen Buddhism


Part of Cambridge Studies in Religious Traditions

  • Date Published: September 2000
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521789844

£ 34.99

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • This book is the first to engage Zen Buddhism philosophically on crucial issues from a perspective that is informed by the traditions of western philosophy and religion. It focuses on one renowned Zen master, Huang Po, whose recorded sayings exemplify the spirit of the 'golden age' of Zen in medieval China, and on the transmission of these writings to the West. The author makes a bold attempt to articulate a post-romantic understanding of Zen applicable to contemporary world culture. While deeply sympathetic to the Zen tradition, he raises serious questions about the kinds of claims that can be made on its behalf.

    • Written in a style that is readable and useful to non-academics
    • Books on Buddhism sell in English language bookstores to Western Buddhists, an unusually well-educated group
    • Methodologically current yet highly readable book on a major figure in the Buddhist tradition
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'One of the last great books of the century is Dale Wright's critical philosophical meditations on Huang Po … it represents a culmination of the kind of twentieth century approach to philosophy exemplified by Blofeld, while also marking a transition to a next-century philosophical methodology that is sensitive to the nuances of textual history and the significance of grounding a critical discussion of metaphysical issues in an insightful understanding of the historicity of Huang Po's life and times … It is clear that Philosophical Meditations on Zen Buddhism, written in a lucid and evocative, yet jargon-free, no-nonsense style will quickly become a standard work for scholars and students interested in an intensive, detailed study of a leading exponent of the classical age of Zen thought.' Steven Heine, Journal of Buddhist Ethics

    'How much should we use sophisticated hermeneutical approaches to challenge the Zen tradition's self-understanding? And how much can we use Buddhist insight and meditative techniques to challenge the 'objectivity' of contemporary Buddhist Studies …? Philosophical Meditations on Zen Buddhism addresses these questions more directly, and answers them more successfully, than anything else I have read on the topic … Wright's meditations … show that Zen students need not be afraid of postmodernism, for by dispelling our romanticist preconceptions it can make Zen practice more liberative. Instead of corrosively dismissing old claims about Zen which are no longer tenable … this book goes far in determining what of a de-mythologized Zen tradition remains alive and important for us today.' David Loy, Asian Philosophy

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2000
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521789844
    • length: 244 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 153 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.35kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Textuality: the 'dependent origination' of Huang Po
    2. Reading: the practice of insight
    3. Understanding: the context of enlightenment
    4. Language: the sphere of immediacy
    5. Rhetoric: the instrument of meditation
    6. History: the genealogy of mind
    7. Freedom: the practice of constraint
    8. Transcendence: 'going beyond' Huang Po
    9. Mind: the 'Great Matter'of Zen
    10. Enlightenment: the awakening of mind
    Conclusion: Zen in theory and practice.

  • Author

    Dale S. Wright, Occidental College, Los Angeles

Related Books

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×
warning icon

Turn stock notifications on?

You must be signed in to your Cambridge account to turn product stock notifications on or off.

Sign in Create a Cambridge account arrow icon

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.