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Title: A comparative study of the spirituality of St. John of the Cross and Dogen's Zen Buddhism
Author: Choi, Chong Hun
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2002
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During the past fifty years, a significant encounter has taken place between representatives of Zen Buddhism and Christianity, particularly Roman Catholicism. A number of Catholics and others in Asia, Europe, and the United States have attempted to bridge the gap between the traditions of the Buddhism and of Christianity. These attempts have touched upon substantive issues in the lives of Christians, who have reached out to Zen Buddhism and found that Zen spoke to them. The major purpose of this dissertation is to compare and find the similarities and differences between the spiritually of St. John of the Cross and Dogen’s Zen Buddhism as representative elements in the Christian contemplative and Zen meditative traditions. Because it is an exploration of similarities and differences between religious worlds that allows one to criticise and renew one’s awareness of one’s own tradition. I adopt the approach of attempting to understand these writings from within their own philosophical structures in elucidating the nature of mystical experience. In the course of the comparison, a number of parallels as well as differences are discussed at the phenomenological level. It will be seen that these two traditions share virtually similar diagnoses of the nature of the unreformed aspirant, and that they teach similar strategies for purification. It also will be seen that they have different meditative techniques, ultimate aims, and views of ultimate reality. However, I will conclude that the spiritualities of St. John of the Cross and Dogen’s Zen are ‘different,’ due to the fact that, they have a different ontological reality, namely ‘God’ and the ‘Buddha-nature’. In fact, both the similarities and differences will help to determine both the possibilities and limitations of the cross-cultural study of spirituality. The thesis will also provide insight into how such a comparison may contribute both to a cross-cultural study of spirituality and Christian faith. I will compare these two spiritualities in terms of the following categories: (1) anthropology; (2) spiritual path; (3) characteristics of spiritual or meditative experience on the path; (4) ultimate goal/horizon.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available