Fathering Your Father: The Zen of Fabrication in Tang Buddhism, by Alan Cole. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009. 340 + xix pp. Hardcover $65.00, ISBN 978-052025484-8, Paperback $27.50, ISBN 978-052025485-5.
Chan (襌) and its Japanese counterpart, Zen, have always been a popular subject of scholarly attention. Recent years have witnessed an interesting burgeoning of literature on the history of Chan Buddhism, which grapples with various issues, including formative texts, the establishment of schools within the tradition, spiritual transmission and disputes over the nature of enlightenment. Alan Cole’s new book, Fathering Your Father, continues his tradition of utilizing familial terms – father, mother, and son – to discuss Buddhism. This study adopts a ‘History of Religions’ approach in its attempt to re-examine the history of early Chan Buddhism… [Read full review].