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Zen Encounters. Essays and Conversations

By Richard DeMartino (1922–2013). Dr. DeMartino, Zen practitioner and thinker, long-time student of D.T. Suzuki, Shin’ichi Hisamatsu, Paul Tillich, and Reinhold Niebuhr, was co-author (along with D.T. Suzuki and Erich Fromm) of the classic Zen Buddhism and Psychoanalysis. He was senior associate professor of religion at Temple University, Philadelphia, PA.

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xvi & 239 pages. ISBN 978-3-906000-22-0. Wil (Switzerland): UniversityMedia, 2022.

With regard to publishing and many other things, Dr. Richard DeMartino(1922–2013)—a protagonist of the introduction of Zen Buddhism to the West—adhered to the old Roman motto: “Non multa sed multum”: what counts is not quantity but quality.

Instead of churning out reams of papers and books, he kept revising and fine-tuning seminal essays such as “The Human Situation and Zen Buddhism,” first published in Zen Buddhism and Psychoanalysis of 1960 (co-authored with D.T. Suzuki and Erich Fromm). The present volume contains DeMartino’s ultimate version of that essay, chiseled for decades, along with an essay on “Zen Communication” whose final typescript was equally teeming with handwritten corrections and thoughtful emendations.

Included are also essays about and conversations with some of the 20th century’s greatest Zen teachers and thinkers: a hitherto unpublished exchange with Daisetz T. Suzuki (“D.T. Suzuki, Oriental Thought, and the West”); accounts of DeMartino’s first meetings with D.T. Suzuki and with Shin’ichi Hisamatsu; and essays on the “Thought of Nishitani Keiji” and “The Zen Roots of Masao Abe’s Thought”. His discussion with Prof. Ken Kramer (San José State University) about “self-emptying” is a unique contribution to Buddhist thought and to Christian-Buddhist dialogue.

This is a companion volume to Dr. DeMartino’s Human Nature and Zen (ISBN 978-3-906000-17-6), published also at UniversityMedia in 2021.

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