The Brill Dictionary of Religion

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Zen Buddhism
(2,668 words)

1. Zen is the Japanese designation for the Chinese ch'an (in Sanskrit, dhyāna, ‘meditation,’ ‘immersion’), and denotes a tradition of Mahayana Buddhism for which the key religious practice is ‘→ meditation sitting’ (in Jap., zazen). What is characteristic of Zen can be summarized in four brief enunciations: (1) Zen understands itself as a special tradition outside of orthodox teaching; it emphasizes (…

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Bayreuther, Sabine, “Zen Buddhism”, in: The Brill Dictionary of Religion, Edited by Kocku von Stuckrad. Consulted online on 27 October 2020 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004124332, 20051223

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