Gyōnen’s Transmission of the Buddha Dharma in Three Countries


Gyōnen’s Transmission of the Buddha Dharma in Three Countries is the first English translation of this work and a new assessment of it. Gyōnen (1240-1321) has been recognized for establishing a methodology for the study of Buddhism that would come to dominate Japan. The three countries Gyōnen considers are India, China and Japan. Ronald S. Green and Chanju Mun describe Gyōnen’s innovative doctrinal classification system (panjiao) for the first time and compare it to other panjiao systems. They argue that Gyōnen’s arrangement and what he chose to exclude served political purposes in the Kamakura period, and thus engage current scholarship on the construction of Japanese Buddhism.

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Ronald S. Green, Ph.D. (2003), University of Wisconsin-Madison, is Associate Professor of Religions at Coastal Carolina University. He has published monographs, translations, and articles on Japanese Buddhism and Buddhism in popular culture, including Buddhism Goes to the Movies (Routledge, 2014).
Chanju Mun, Ph.D. (2002), University of Wisconsin-Madison, taught at University of the West, University of Hawaii, and Coastal Carolina University. His books are widely published and include The History of Doctrinal Classification in Chinese Buddhism (University Press of America, 2006).
"Ronald S. Green and Chanju Mun have translated for the first time into English a crucial Japanese Buddhist work that had become greatly influential in dictating the approach with which Buddhist texts were interpreted and understood in Kamakura Japan. (...) The book is an outstanding addition to the existing English-language literature of Japanese Buddhism which should be of great interest to all students of East Asian religions."
- Lehel Balogh, Hokkaido University, in: Religious Studies Review 47.1 (2021).

Ronald S. Green
Preliminary Notes
Historical Chronology (Through Gyōnen’s Time)
List of Japanese Buddhist Monastic Ranks
List of Tables and Diagrams

Part 1: A Sketch of The Transmission of the Buddha Dharma and Related Issues

Introduction: Gyōnen and the Organizational Structure of His Text
 1 The Life of Gyōnen (1240-1321) and his Perspective in this Text
 2 The Organizational Structure of the Text
1 Indian Foundations and Chinese Developments of the Buddha Dharma
 1 Indian Foundation
 2 Chinese Developments
2 Korean Contributions to Japanese Buddhism
 1 Korea as the Political Bridge
 2 The Introduction of Korean Buddhism into Japan
 3 The Formation of Japanese Buddhism
3 Japanese Development of the Buddha Dharma
 1 Historical Establishment of the Eight Older Schools of Japanese Buddhism
 2 Historical Establishment of the Newer Kamakura Schools of Gyōnen’s Time

Part 2: Translation of Gyōnen’s The Narrative History of Transmission of the Buddha Dharma in Three Countries

4 Fascicle One
 1 Transmission of the Buddha Dharma in India
 2 Transmission of the Buddha Dharma in China
5 Fascicle Two
 3 Transmission of the Various Traditions in Japan
6 Fascicle Three
 7 The Ritsu (Vinaya) School

All interested in Japanese history, anyone concerned with the Kamakura period and representations of Japanese Buddhism. This includes professors and graduate students of Japanese history, Asian Religions, and Buddhist Studies. University and other libraries will be interested, as well as educated laypersons.
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