This collection of Abe's essays is a welcome addition to philosophy and comparative philosophy.
Written by one of Japan’s foremost contemporary thinkers and scholars, Zen and the Modern World is the third in a series of essay collections on Zen Buddhism as seen in the context of Western thought. As a leading representative of the Kyoto School, which has sought a critical, comparative linking of Eastern and Western thought, Abe has based his approach on constructive, mutually respectful yet critical intellectual interaction and dialogue with some of the leading figures in the West (including Paul Tillich, Hans Küng, and Eugene Borowitz) as well as dozens of colleagues, students, and disciples.
Together with the previous volumes, this work examines and exemplifies some key features of Kyoto School thought. While the essays presented here should be read in light of the socio-political criticism that has since been lodged against the Kyoto School and, more particularly, its founder Nishida Kitarò, most of them were written prior to the recent discussions and focus on issues of comparative philosophy and religious thought outside the contours of the debate. This should not, however, limit their approach to the earlier historical context.