[Buddha-l] Paper: When the Saints Go Marching In (Lachs)

Stuart Lachs slachs at att.net
Fri Apr 8 08:40:07 MDT 2011

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to announce my latest paper titled "When the Saints Go
Marching In: Modern Day Zen Hagiography."  The paper analyzes two
articles that recently appeared in Tricycle: A Buddhist Review
magazine. The article "The Wanderer" is an excerpt from the book,
"Footprints in the Snow: The Autobiography of a Chinese Buddhist
Monk" by Chan master Sheng Yen who died February 3, 2009, while
"down east roshi" is a new biography about Walter Nowick who spent
17 years in Japan and taught Zen in Maine as leader of the
group Moon Spring Hermitage.

The article looks at the constructed nature of these two
contemporary biographies, and the role they play in generating and
maintaining the view of the selfless, wise, often iconoclastic and
legitimate Chan master/roshi. The paper highlights the dynamics of a
religious tradition and especially how the visions of the perfected
Chan master/roshi of the past are perpetuated into the present
through the very same mechanism that originally
created them, that is, written hagiography.

The paper is available at:

All the best,


More information about the buddha-l mailing list