Lineage and Context in the <i>Patriarch's Hall Collection</i> and the <i>Transmission of the Lamp</i>

Albert Welter

Edited by Steven Heine and Dale S. Wright

in The Zen Canon

Published in print May 2004 | ISBN: 9780195150674
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199784615 | DOI:
 Lineage and Context in the Patriarch's Hall Collection and the Transmission of the Lamp

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This chapter offers a precise analysis of the early Zen literature known as chuandenglu (records of the transmission of the lamp), which sets the Zen tradition up into family-like lineages transmitting the dharma from one master to another through lines of teaching heritage. Welter shows how this literary genre helps give rise to the classical divisions of Chinese Chan Buddhism into the “five houses,” although each text examined displays under careful scrutiny the preference by its authors for one lineage or another. The essay analyzes the early example of this genre known as the Zutang ji, and shows its relation to the most famous version of transmission texts, the Jingde chuandeng lu (The Jingde era record of the Transmission of the Lamp).

Keywords: chuandenglu; Jingde chuandeng lu; Zutang ji; Patriarch’s Hall Collection; The Jingde era record of the Transmission of the Lamp; dharma transmission; five houses; Zen lineage

Chapter.  19686 words. 

Subjects: Buddhism

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