The Daoist Tradition: An Introduction


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Using a historical, textual and ethnographical approach, this is the most comprehensive presentation of Daoism to date. In addition to revealing the historical contours and primary concerns of Chinese Daoists and Daoist communities, this provides an account of key themes and defining characteristics of Daoist religiosity – showing it to be a living and lived religion. A focus on exploring Daoism as a religion and from a comparative religious studies perspective gives the reader a deeper understanding of religious traditions more broadly. Beginning with an overview of Daoist history, the book then covers key elements of Daoist worldviews such as cosmology, virtue, and morality. This is followed by coverage of major Daoist practices, moving onto the importance of place and sacred sites as well as representative examples of material culture in Daoism. It concludes with an overview of Daoism in the modern world. The book includes a historical timeline, a map of China, 20 images, a glossary, text boxes, suggested reading and chapter summaries. A companion website provides both student and lecturer resources.

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