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Effortless Expressions: Dōgen’s Non-Thinking about ‘Words and Letters’

Dōgen on Language and Experience

Religion and Theology, Vrije Universiteit, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Academic Editor: George Wrisley
Religions 2021, 12(3), 181;
Received: 16 February 2021 / Accepted: 8 March 2021 / Published: 10 March 2021
Understanding Zen views on language and experience from a philosophical hermeneutical point of view means conceiving such an understanding as a merging of horizons. We have to explicate both the modern Western secular horizon and the medieval Japanese Zen horizon. This article first describes how Charles Taylor’s notion of the immanent frame has shaped Western modernist understanding of Zen language and experience in the twentieth century. Zen language was approached as an instrumental tool, and Zen enlightenment experience was imagined as an ineffable “pure experience.” More recent postmodernist approaches to Zen language and experience have stressed the interrelatedness of language and experience, and the importance of embodied approaches to experience. Such new understandings of language and experience offer not only new perspectives on Dōgen’s “Zen within words and letters” and his embodied approach to enlightened experience, but also an expanded view on what it means to understand Dōgen. View Full-Text
Keywords: Dōgen; zazen; language; experience; philosophical hermeneutics; immanent frame; embodiment Dōgen; zazen; language; experience; philosophical hermeneutics; immanent frame; embodiment
MDPI and ACS Style

van der Braak, A. Dōgen on Language and Experience. Religions 2021, 12, 181.

AMA Style

van der Braak A. Dōgen on Language and Experience. Religions. 2021; 12(3):181.

Chicago/Turabian Style

van der Braak, André. 2021. "Dōgen on Language and Experience" Religions 12, no. 3: 181.

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