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Title:Shaking dance in the stormy valley: tendai discourse on kami-buddha relations in fourteenth century mount hiei
Author(s):Park, Yeon Joo
Director of Research:Ruppert, Brian
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Ruppert, Brian
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Mayer, Alexander L.; Oyler, Elizabeth A; Toby, Ronald P.
Department / Program:E. Asian Languages & Cultures
Discipline:East Asian Languages and Cultures
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Medieval Japanese Kami-Buddha amalgamation
honji suijaku
Tendai chroniclers
Keiran shūyōshū
serpent symbols
original enlightenment
Taimitsu consciousness discourse
Abstract:This dissertation explores medieval Japanese discourse on the amalgamation of kami and buddhas, particularly as represented in Keiran shūyōshū, a fourteenth century encyclopedic Japanese Tendai text, which presents the highest knowledge of medieval Taimitsu scholasticism on Mt. Hiei. Focusing on the inner logic of the “origin-trace” structure central to the Kami-Buddha combinatory discourse, this study investigates the rationale of nonduality between buddhas and kami or the origin and manifested traces. Examining representations of kami as manifestations of buddhas and the complex web of their relationships in Keiran, this study elucidates that the origin-trace scheme is indispensable from medieval Taimitsu teachings—in particular, the esoteric idea of copenetration and mutual identity, as well as the doctrine of original enlightenment and its associated rituals and practices. Examination of these interrelated issues culminates by centering on Keiran’s discussion of kami’s manifestation in the form of the snake and its association with the sixth consciousness, through which the main discussions of this study—kami as manifestations, kami’s manifestations, and nonduality of the origin and trace, are integrated into the problem of our mind cultivation toward enlightenment. Throughout this study, I pay attention to several allegories associated with the notion of nonduality in Keiran, which include the allegory of the shaking dance mentioned in the title of this dissertation, as well as various analogies connected to the form of the snake. At the end of this study, the main features of thie symbolic complex of nonduality are analyzed as being correlated in their subtle yet ultimate signification of our innate capacity to attain enlightenment, which should be sought after and sustained with our persistently dedicated practices.
Issue Date:2016-09-21
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Yeon Joo Park
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-03-01
Date Deposited:2016-12

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