This course will explore the Zen Koan in Chinese, Korean and Japanese Buddhism. A koan is typically a dialogue or saying that has been cited as exemplifying or embodying some aspect of awakening, practice or teaching. Koans became the essential and most basic spiritual literature of the Zen tradition. They served as dynamic pivots for unfolding expositions of Zen practice. Using primary and secondary sources, we will examine the historical development of various forms of koan literature, study, practice and teaching.
Course format: Seminar/lecture. Evaluation method: Participation/term paper.