Zen history

Given that historians have a voracious interest in studying the distinctiveness of cultures aross the world and across time, why do they have so little interest in learning or borrowing from the temporal and historical cultures of those places? This essay offers a practical case study of Buddhism, looking both at the richness and radical difference of Buddhist temporalities, as well as asking how these ideas might be used by modern writers to make histories. Its special focus is on the Theravada and Mahayana traditions, and, most especially, Zen. Through studies of Zen time texts, I conclude that an appreciation of Buddhist 'history' on its own terms might entail an abandonment of almost all the central premises of empirical history. This might become one starting point for the globalisation of History.