Daoism is one of the great philosophical and religious traditions that originated and flourished in China. Unlike many other religions, Daoism has no one god or founding prophet. It encourages individuals to seek their own path to harmony in their intellectual, spiritual, and physical lives. Daoism promotes balance, holding that an excess of anything prevents one from achieving the Dao, the fundamental principle unifying the universe.
Daoism, Third Edition traces the history of Daoism and explains its basic thoughts, traditions, and practices. It also details the Daoist movement worldwide and how the limitations of consumerism are leading a younger generation to search for their own spiritual harmony.
Almost from the start of civilization more than 10,000 years ago, religion has shaped human history. Today more than half the world's population adhere to a major religion or indigenous spiritual tradition. In societies throughout the world, increasing ethnic and cultural diversity has led to a variety of religions being practiced side by side. This makes it vital that we understand as much as we can about the world's religions.
Rigorously nonsectarian, the books in the World Religions series offer clear, accessible overviews of the major religious traditions of our time, including
Origins and history
Central beliefs, rituals, and sacred sites
Contributions to world civilization
Carefully chosen photographs complement the text, and sidebars, a map, fact file, glossary, bibliography, further reading, and index are included to help readers gain a more complete understanding of the subject at hand.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Introduction: The Modern Daoist World 8
Chapter 2 The Origins and Early History of Daoism 18
Chapter 3 The Growth and Spread of Daoism 38
Chapter 4 The Scriptures and Beliefs of Daoism 66
Chapter 5 Ritual and Meditation 86
Chapter 6 The Dao and the Arts 108
Chapter 7 Daoism Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow 122
Fact File and Bibliography 138
Further Reading and Web Sites 139
About the Author and Series Editors 144
Picture Credits 144