Daoism and Chinese Culture
|Paperback 22.95 USD|
|Electronic File 15.00 USD|
|First: June 2001; Second: January 2004|
A long-awaited textbook that introduce the major schools, teachings, and practices of Daoism, this work presents a chronological survey that is thematically divided into four parts: Ancient Thought, Religious Communities, Spiritual Practices, and Modernity. It offers an integrated vision of the Daoist tradition in its historical and cultural context, establishing connections with relevant information on Confucianism, Chinese Buddhism, popular religion, and political developments. It also places Daoism into a larger theoretical and comparative framework, relating it to mysticism, millenarianism, forms of religious organization, ritual, meditation, and modernity. The book makes ample use of original materials and provides references to further readings and original sources in translation. It is a powerful resource for teaching and studying alike.
"The book comprehensively covers all main topics and periods of Daoism. It does not stop after the Tang as earlier works tend to do, but goes all the way into the present and also to some extent discusses Daoism in non-Chinese cultures. It is clearly and lucidly written and addresses a broad audience-not necessarily of sinological background. It may well be used in the classroom and by interested nonspecialists. Still, for those of deeper interest there are references that allow them to further pursue their study of Daoism."--Stephan-Peter Bumbacher, Tübingen University
Livia Kohn writes:
"This book is the result of fifteen years of teaching Daoism using a variety of different models, including historical surveys, textual readings, thematic arrangements, and theoretical, comparative analyses. In the course of my work I have compiled an anthology (The Taoist Experience, 1993) to make original sources accessible to students. That work has a thematic focus, presenting the mythology of the Dao, the understanding and practices of the body, various methods of meditation, and the visions of ultimate attainment, all as reflected in texts from different schools and different periods."
"Now, to balance and supplement that selection of original sources, and to offer an introduction that can also be used in courses on world religions and Chinese history, I have prepared a textbook. Although formatted as a chronological survey, the text is thematically divided into four parts: Ancient Thought, Religious Communities, Spiritual Practices, and Modernity. This division serves to create a more integrated vision of the characteristics of the Daoist tradition in their historical context, and to enhance students’ awareness of broader theoretical and comparative issues. These include different forms of religious organization, differences between ritual and meditation, and the role of religion in a contemporary environment."
"The division also helps establish connections with relevant information on Chinese history and religion, such as Confucianism, popular religion, and the role of foreign dynasties and political measures in religious developments. This division, however, does not mean or even imply that Daoist thought occurred only in ancient times, that religious communities appeared only in the early middle ages, or that spiritual practices were the prerogatives of the Tang and Song dynasties. Indeed, all the different aspects of the Daoist religion are mentioned in all chapters, but they receive a more in-depth treatment in the appropriate parts."
"There are selected citations from original materials, and every chapter has a list of supplementary references both for further readings and to original sources in translation. The suggested readings are limited and represent only a very small selection from a fast growing field of excellent scholarly research. They are largely works in English and they tend to focus more on books than on articles. This, again, does not imply that other works are not important or have not influenced the presentation of Daoism in this volume. In particular, numerous scholarly studies published in French, German, Chinese, and Japanese are not listed here even though they have been essential in developing the field of Daoist studies and in shaping my own understanding of the religion. For references to additional relevant scholarly work, including works in these various languages, the reader is referred to the relevant chapters in the Daoism Handbook, edited by Livia Kohn (Leiden, 2000), and the Encyclopedia of Taoism, edited by Fabrizio Pregadio (London, 2003). "
Livia Kohn is Professor of Religion and East Asian Studies at Boston University. Trained also in Germany, Taiwan, and Japan, she has written extensively on Daoism, including Early Chinese Mysticism (Princeton, 1992), The Taoist Experience (SUNY, 1993), God of the Dao (University of Michigan, 1998), and recently edited the Daoism Handbook (E. Brill, 2000).
Table of Contents
|Part 1: Ancient Thought|
|Chapter 1: Laozi and the Daode jing||11|
|Chapter 2: The Zhuangzi||27|
|Chapter 3: Han Cosmology and Immortality||42|
|Part 2: Religious Communities|
|Chapter 4: Communal Organizations||61|
|Chapter 5: Self-Cultivation Groups||82|
|Chapter 6: Daoism and the State||100|
|Part 3: Spiritual Practices|
|Chapter 7: Ritual and Meditation||117|
|Chapter 8: Spells, Talismans, and Inner Alchemy||136|
|Chapter 9: Monastic Discipline||153|
|Part 4: Modernity|
|Chapter 10: Changes in the Ming and Qing||171|
|Chapter 11: Daoism Today||187|
|Appendix 1: Daoism in Other East Asian Countries||205|
|Appendix 2: Dates of Daoism||209|