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Bargainin' for Salvation: Bob Dylan, a Zen Master?

Bargainin' for Salvation: Bob Dylan, a Zen Master? (Paperback)

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Synopsis

This book argues that Dylan actually embraces two radically distinct world views at alternating periods. Throughout his various stages, Dylan's work reveals an affinity with the Zen world view, where enlightenment can be attained through meditation, self-contemplation and intuition rather than through faith and devotion. Forgoing Christianity and Western Views for Zen and Buddhism, "Bargainin' for Salvation" will capture your attention and direct it toward the East. One of the mysteries of Bob Dylan's incredible corpus is why he seems to veer and zigzag so drastically and dramatically from one extreme standpoint to another. Throughout his career, rapid, radical transitions in musical style and public persona have either inspired or shocked different sectors of his fans. Is Dylan's work complex and contradictory, or is there an underlying consistency and continuity? Steven Heine, Director of the Institute for Asian Studies at Florida International University, argues that Dylan actually embraces two radically distinct world views at alternating periods.

One is prevalent in his Protest (early '60s), Country (late '60s), and Gospel (late '70s) phases; it finds Dylan expressing moral outrage in endorsing a single higher truth based on a right-versus-wrong philosophy. The second view appears during periods of Dylan's disillusionment in the mid '60s ("Desolation Row"), mid '70s ("Tangled Up in Blue"), and mid '80s ("Jokerman"), finding him disenchanted with one-sided proclamations of truth and wandering, seemingly aimless amid a relativistic world of masks and disguises where nothing is ever what it claims to be. Throughout his various stages, Dylan's work reveals an affinity with the Zen world view, where enlightenment can be attained through meditation, self-contemplation and intuition rather than through faith and devotion. Whatever his current beliefs are, though, one can go into reading this book knowing that there are no others like it. Forgoing Christianity and Western views for Zen and Buddhism, "Bargainin' for Salvation" will capture your attention and direct it toward the East.

Music & DanceMusic BooksMusic: styles & genresRock & Pop musicPhilosophy, Psychology & Social SciencesReligion & BeliefsOther non-Christian religionsOriental religions Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC Publication Date: 01/05/2009 ISBN-13: 9780826429506  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
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Steven Heine is professor of religious studies and history and director of the Institute for Asian Studies at Florida International University. Heine's research specializes in the life and thought of Zen master Dogen (1200-1253), the founder of the Soto sect in Japan, and he has published twenty books and dozens of articles on Japanese culture. His publications include Did Dogen Go to China? (Oxford, 2006), The Zen Poetry of Dogen (Tuttle, 1997), Dogen and the Koan Tradition (SUNY, 1993), Shifting Shape, Shaping Text (Hawaii, 2000), and White Collar Zen (Oxford, 2005), which has been reviewed in USA Today, The Washington Post, Harvard Business Working Knowledge, and elsewhere.

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