Divine Traces of the Daoist Sisterhood
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Divine Traces of the Daoist Sisterhood

"Records of the Assembled Transcendents of the Fortified Walled City” by Du Guangting (850-933)

Paperback 27.95 USD
Electronic file 15.00 USD To order, please go to www.lulu.com
Suzanne E. Cahill
239 Pages
February 2006
ISBN 978-1-931483-04-9


Divine Traces of the Daoist Sisterhood presents unique materials on the lives and religious quests of Daoist women in medieval China. Translating and discussing religious women's biographies, the book explores the social context, ideals, and specific techniques of their practice, relating the stories to overall Daoist themes and contemporaneous political events. It elucidates the underlying threads of women's divine careers and brings out both the deep human interest and humor of the stories. Through Suzanne Cahill's efforts, the women of medieval Daoism receive a new and clear voice, to be heard across cultures and millennia.


Suzanne Cahill's translations illuminate the Tang Daoist women in the contexts of both their times and the gendered body politics of our times. The thousand-year-old women came alive--perhaps this was not the immortality they sought but that is good enough for us.

--Dorothy Ko

This book presents fascinating material, made accessible to both specialists and non-specialists. With its highly readable translations and insightful and interesting introductions, it will be of great value not only in courses on Chinese religion but also in courses on gender and religion. Suzanne Cahill has again excelled in her work.

--Beata Grant

The Author

Suzanne Cahill is the leading specialist in the study of medieval Daoist women. Here she presents the first complete translation of their key biographies, integrating skillful analysis of the text with interdisciplinary exploration of the social and historical issues raised by its data. Divine Traces of the Daoist Sisterhood stands at a fascinating crux: it illumines not only broad socio-cultural realities at a precise historical juncture, but also the immediate life-realities of specific individuals who both navigated and contributed to those socio-cultural realities. All who study history, religion, and gender will greatly appreciate Cahill's expert and revealing synthesis.

--J. Russell Kirkland


Suzanne Cahill is professor of History and East Asian Studies at the University of California, San Diego. She has published widely on Chinese art, religion, and literature, most notably Transcendence and Divine Passion, and has taught a class on women in Chinese history for many years.