Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

On Chan art and Zen art
by Soriano, Jon Ryan C., M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2011, 90; 1493188
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis analyzes the ideological construct of Zen Buddhist art and provides suggestions for reconceptualizing this construct within Buddhist visual culture. The concept of Zen art has been part of a larger strategic effort by Buddhist modernizers to adapt Japanese Buddhist institutions for survival amidst rapid political reforms in Japan. Thus, the concepts of Zen art and, by extension, Chan art largely reiterate the ideological claims of Japanese modernization. A range of objects only loosely connected to the actual religious practices of Chan or Zen Buddhism have been categorized according to highly subjective modernist aesthetics. Comparison to the actual functions of visual culture in Chan and Zen religious tradition, as well as examination of the specific criteria used to determine objects as Chan or Zen art, leads to a less political and more contextual method of interpreting objects previously subsumed under Zen art and Chan art.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ming, Feng-Ying
School: California State University, Long Beach
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 49/05M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Religion, History, Art history
Publication Number: 1493188
ISBN: 9781124622255
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