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A Study of Dogen: His Philosophy and Religion

by Masao Abe, Steven Heine

Buy the book: Masao Abe. A Study of Dogen: His Philosophy and Religion

Release Date: November, 1991

Edition: Paperback

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Buy the book: Masao Abe. A Study of Dogen: His Philosophy and Religion


Heidegger rots zen minds too!

This book is definitely something of a disappointment. Dogen can be a difficult author, but this is not the book we need to clarify Dogen's thought. Abe's primary influence seems to be Heidegger, and he has contracted some of that philosopher's worst tendencies. He announces conclusions, but instead of motivating them with reasons, he tends to just repeat the same thing in three or four different ways. He also seems to think that abstruse terminology serves as insight and explanation. Another noticeable defect in this book is Abe's apparent lack of knowledge concerning Dogen's Tendai background. He accepts without reservation the hagiographical legend of Dogen's doubt concerning the need for practice in the context of Tendai original enlightenment doctrine, as if no one had ever thought of this before and no answers had been proposed. He also frequently presents views Dogen inherited from medieval Tendai as original and new insights. Overall, a disappointing effort.

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