ARTH-467-01 Arts of Zen Buddhism
Spring for 2017-2018
Zen Buddhism is one of the major schools of Buddhism in East Asia and was moreover an instrumental force in shaping modern perceptions of Japan in the west. Over the course of the semester, we will analyze how the perceived distinctiveness of Zen Buddhism – as marked by concepts such as mind-to-mind transmission, master-disciple lineage, and sudden enlightenment – was constructed through the visual arts and how the arts in turn contributed to monk-patron relations and the cultural lives of monks outside the monastic walls. Among the weekly topics to be covered are: Buddhist monasteries and rock gardens, ink landscape paintings, portraits of Zen masters, the tea ceremony and ceramic tea wares, as well as Beat Zen and the impact of Buddhism upon postwar artists in the United States. Certain weeks will take us to the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery for classroom visits to view original works. No prior knowledge of Asian art is required or assumed.
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
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