[KS] New book: Reflections of a Zen Buddhist Nun: Essays by Zen Master Kim Iryop, translated by Jin Y. Park

Jin Y. Park jypark at american.edu
Thu Apr 3 20:10:48 EDT 2014

I am pleased to inform you that my translated book has now been published: Reflections of a Zen Buddhist Nun: Essays by Zen Master Kim IryŏpTranslated from the Korean by Jin Y. Park

Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2014

328 pp

ISBN-10: 0824838785

ISBN-13: 978-0824838782

Here is the description of the book:

The life and work of Kim Iryŏp (1896-1971) bear witness to Korea's encounter with modernity. A prolific writer, Iryŏp reflected on identity and existential loneliness in her poems, short stories, and autobiographical essays. As a pioneering feminist intellectual, she dedicated herself to gender issues and understanding the changing role of women in Korean society. As an influential Buddhist nun, she examined religious teachings and strove to interpret modern human existence through a religious world view.

Originally published in Korea when Iryŏp was in her sixties, _Reflections of a Zen Buddhist Nun (Ŏnŭ sudoin ŭi hoesang) makes available for the first time in English a rich, intimate, and unfailingly candid source of material with which to understand modern Korea, Korean women, and Korean Buddhism.

Throughout her writing, Iryŏp poses such questions as: How does one come to terms with one's identity? What is the meaning of revolt and what are its limitations? How do we understand the different dimensions of love in the context of Buddhist teachings?

What is Buddhist awakening? How do we attain it? How do we understand God and the relationship between good and evil? What is the meaning of religious practice in our time? We see through her thought and life experiences the co-existence of seemingly conflicting ideas and ideals--Christianity and Buddhism, sexual liberalism and religious celibacy, among others.

In Reflections of a Zen Buddhist Nun, Iryŏp challenges readers with her creative interpretations of Buddhist doctrine and her reflections on the meaning of Buddhist practice. In the process she offers insight into a time when the ideas and contributions of women to twentieth-century Korean society and intellectual life were just beginning to emerge from the shadows, where they had been obscured in the name of modernization and nation-building.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Translator's Introduction: Kim Iryŏp, Her Life and Thought 1

Part One

1 Preface 29

2 Life 33

3 Buddhism and Culture 45

4 In Memory of the Great Master Man'gong on the Fifteenth Anniversary of His Death 55

5 On New Year's Day of the Twenty-Fifth Year after Joining the Monastery 78

6 A Proposal to the World Fellowship of Buddhists Conference 87

7 Why Has Buddhism Launched a Purification Movement? 92

8 Is the Mind One or Two? To Mr. C., Who Has Recently Converted to Catholicism 97

9 What Is Faith? Contemplation upon Reading a Letter from My Friend M. 110

10 The Path to No-Mind: A Letter to Mr. R. 120

11 Having Burned Away My Youth: A Letter to Mr. B. 140

12 With a Returned Gift in My Hand 199

13 Having Prepared a Clean Copy of My Master’s Manuscript (by Yi Wŏlsong)  206

Part Two

14 Return to Emptiness 213

15 Meditation and the Attainment of the Mind 224

16 Prayer and Chanting 227

17 Path to Eternity: A Message to Journalists 229

Notes 237

Character Glossary 275

Bibliography 279

Index 289



Jin Y. Park, Ph. D.

Director, Asian Studies Program

Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy and Religion

American University

4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW

Washington DC 20013

Tel: (202)885-2919







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