From the Back Cover
The book describes the emergence and maturity of encounter dialogue and analyzes the new doctrines and practices of the school to revise the traditional notion of Mazu and his followers as iconoclasts. It also depicts the strivings of Mazus disciples for orthodoxy and how the criticisms of and reflections on Hongzhou doctrine led to the schism of this line and the rise of the Shitou line and various houses during the late Tang and Five Dynasties periods. Jia refutes the traditional Chan genealogy of two lines and five houses and calls for new frameworks in the study of Chan history. An annotated translation of datable discourses of Mazu is also included.
"Jia critically surveys the available scholarship in Japanese, English, and Chinese, and puts forth her own conclusions supported by extensive citations of traditional Chinese sources that have generally been overlooked." Steven Heine, author of Dogen and the Koan Tradition: A Tale of Two Shobogenzo Texts