How Master Mou Removes Our Doubts,A Reader-Response Study and Translation of the Mou-tzu Li-huo lun

Rs. 900.00
  • Book Name How Master Mou Removes Our Doubts,A Reader-Response Study and Translation of the Mou-tzu Li-huo lun
  • Author John p.Keenan
  • Language, Pages Engish, 240 Pgs. (HB)
  • Last Updated 2024 / 02 / 20
  • ISBN 9788170305163, 8170305160

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How Master Mou Removes Our Doubts,A Reader-Response Study and Translation of the Mou-tzu Li-huo lun
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This is the first English translation of the earliest Chinese Buddhist text, but it is more than a translation. Keenan shows that Mou-tzu’s Treatise on Alleviating Doubt is a Buddhist hermeneutic on the Chinese classics. Using a reader- response method of examining the text, Keenan shows how the rhetoric convinces readers that one can remain culturally Chinese yet be a Buddhist.

The Introduction explains the reader-response methodology, develops the movement of the dialogue in terms of this method, and clarifies the rhetorical impact of Master Mou’s argument. The Introduction is followed by | the thirty-seven articles of the text. Each article is first translated into English, then the contextual images and ideas are unpacked for each, and finally cach article is subjected to a reader-response critique that shows what the argument accomplishes in each of its progressive steps.


About the Author

John P. Keenan is Associate Professor of Religion at Middlebury College.



I first grew interested in the Mou-tzu Li-huo lun long ago in the golden days of graduate school at the University of Wisconsin. There, under the able direction of Professor Francis Westbrook, I attempted a first study and translation of the text and its meaning. Subsequently I used sections of the Li-huo lun in a seminar on the translation of Chinese Buddhist texts at the University of Wisconsin when I taught there as a leave replacement for Professor Minoru Kiyota during 1980-81. I thank participants in that seminar for the comments and criticisms they offered more than a decade ago. Since then the Li-huo lun has sat in my file cabinet, for I was unsure just what to do with it.

The idea for this book dawned only after I had spent some time studying scriptural exegesis in connection with another project and learned something of the new hermeneutical approaches being employed by Western Christian scholars such as Elizabeth Struthers Malbon, Robext M. Fowler, and John Dominic Crossan. I find that the methods of literary criticism they have employed so profitably in the interpretation of Christian texts are equally applicable to Buddhist writings.

My ability to complete this project benefited greatly from a grant from the Pacific Cultural Foundation, under the director- ship of its president, Yu-sheng Chang. I am also grateful for the congenial atmosphere among my colleagues at Middlebury College, whom I thank.

In an attempt to make the book readable I have kept the use of Chinese characters to a minimum, citing them only when they are needed to clarify a point. The Sinologist, I presume, has access to the tools of the trade and can easily find references to cited materials in university library catalogs.

On textual issues, this study of the Mou-tzu Li-huo lun relies on the work of other scholars. I have taken Makita Tairyd’s study Gumyosht kenkya (Research on the Huny-ming chi) as my guide in translating the text of the Li-huo lun in the Ssu-pu pei-yao edition of the Hung-ming chi collection and in the Taish6 shinshu daizoky6o. Furthermore, I enter only briefly and cursorily into the tangled issues of the text’s authenticity as a late Han document and the historicity of its main character, Mou-tzu. My focus lies elsewhere: on the impact of the rhetoric of the text upon its implied readers. In a word, I seek to learn what this tractate achieves for its original readers.

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