Historical Dictionary of Daoism (Historical Dictionaries of Religions) (Hardcover)

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Daoism is the oldest indigenous philosophic-spiritual tradition of China and one of the most ancient of the world's spiritual structures. The name Daoism comes from the term dao, which means a "way" or a "road" through the field or woods to one's village. It is also means the "way" to do something, such as how a master craftsman carves wood, makes a bell, or even butchers an ox. But dao is also a nominative in the history of Daoism, referring to the energizing process that permeates and animates all of reality and moves it along. However, both text and practice in this tradition insist that dao itself cannot be described in words; it is not God in the sense of Western philosophy or religion. Daoism has no supreme being, even if there is an extensive grammar about nominally self-conscious entities and powers for which the Chinese use the word "spirit" (shen). For example, the highest powers of Daoism are variously called Taishang Laojun (the deified Laozi), the Celestial Worthy of Primordial Beginning (Yuanshi tianzun), the Jade Emperor (Yuhuang Shangdi), or the Perfected Warrior (Zhenwu). But these are expressions of dao in specific shen; they are not identical to Dao, except in the most unique case-when Laozi, the putative founder of Daoism and author of its major work, Daodejing, is said to be one with the dao. Historical Dictionary of Daoism contains a chronology, an introduction, appendixes, an extensive bibliography, and more than 400 cross-referenced entries related to the Chinese belief and worldview known as Daoism, including dozens of Daoist terms, names, and practices. This book is an excellent resource for students, researchers, and anyone wanting to know more about Daoism.

About the Author

Ronnie L. Littlejohn is the Chaney Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Director of Asian Studies at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. He is the author of nine books and over 60 journal and encyclopaedia articles in various scholarly collections. He was most recently the recipient of the Foreign Scholar award from the Henan Province Ministry of Education and he was one of only three foreign scholars asked to speak at the dedication of the Laozi and Daoist Culture Center in Zhoukou City, PRC.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781538122730
ISBN-10: 1538122731
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Publication Date: November 29th, 2019
Pages: 310
Language: English
Series: Historical Dictionaries of Religions