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date: 15 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter consists of three parts, each of which presents the philosophical contributions of an influential modern Japanese thinker closely affiliated with Rinzai Zen Buddhism: D. T. Suzuki (Jp. Suzuki Daisetsu), Hisamatsu Shin’ichi, and Masao Abe (Jp. Abe Masao). The first part focuses on the kernel of Suzuki’s “Zen thought,” namely the “logic of is/not” that he sees as underlying Zen koāns and teachings. The second part focuses on the key themes of Hisamatsu’s thought: his understanding of the “true self” in terms of a formless and thus completely unobjectifiable “absolute nothingness” and his claim that this true self is “absolute autonomous.” The third part provides an overview of Abe’s contributions to the philosophical analyses of Zen texts and teachings as well as to intrafaith (especially between Zen and Pure Land schools of Japanese Buddhism) and interfaith dialogue (especially between Mahayana Buddhism and Christianity).

Keywords: D. T. Suzuki, Hisamatsu Shin’ichi, Masao Abe, Zen, logic of is/not, absolute nothingness, emptiness, nihilism, interfaith dialogue, Kyoto School

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