The Gazetteer of Mt. Tianshe – How the Liumen Community Reshaped a Daoist Sacred Mountain

Submitted by Olles Volker on Sat, 12/31/2011 - 13:15
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TitleThe Gazetteer of Mt. Tianshe – How the Liumen Community Reshaped a Daoist Sacred Mountain
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsOlles, V.
Refereed DesignationUnknown
EditorClart, P.
Book TitleChinese and European Perspectives on the Study of Chinese Popular Religions (中國民間宗教、民間信仰研究之中歐視角)
Series Title中國民間信仰系列
Series Volume2
Date Published10/2012
PublisherBoyang wenhua
Place PublishedTaipei
KeywordsDaoist sacred site, Laojun shan, Liumen, modern history, Sichuan, 老君山,劉門,四川,道教聖地,近、現代史

The Mountain of Lord Lao (Laojun shan 老君山), a sacred site in Sichuan 四川 Province, belongs to the earliest sanctuaries of the Daoist religion. In late Qing and Republican times, the temple on Mt. Laojun was closely connected with the Liumen 劉門 (Liu School) community, a quasi-religious movement based on the doctrine of the Confucian scholar Liu Yuan 劉沅 (1768-1856). Under the influence of the Liumen community, an ancient legend of Laozi’s sojourn on this mountain has become the main source of Mt. Laojun’s spiritual authority.

Tang Jicang 湯濟蒼, an adherent of the Liumen tradition who functioned as the caretaker of the sanctuary from the early 1960s through the 1980s, wrote the only monograph on this sacred site: the Tianshe shan zhi 天社山志 (Gazetteer of Mt. Tianshe). “Tianshe shan” is an alternative appellation for Mt. Laojun, which is favored by members of the Liumen community. The focus of my contribution is on this valuable document that allows fascinating insights into the modern history of the temple on Mt. Laojun.

地處四川新津縣境內的老君山屬於早期道教的聖地,而且至今仍是颇有名氣的道教名山。從清末到民國期間,山上的道觀與一個通稱劉門或劉門教的團體密切相關。劉門本於儒家學者劉沅 (1768-1856) 的思想體系與修煉方法,逐漸發展成了帶有宗教色彩、提倡教育、並開展慈善活動的民間團體。在劉門的倡導和支持下,老子曾隱居此山的古老傳說便成為老君山在宗教地理中享有崇高地位之主要依據。

二十世紀六十年代初到八十年代,門人湯濟蒼看守山上的廟宇,保護文物。守廟期間,湯濟蒼撰寫了當時惟一一部描寫老君山的專著 ──《天社山志》。作為老君山的別名之一,天社山一名常用於劉門的著作中。本文在略述老君山歷史的基礎上,重點介紹並分析《天社山志》的內容。這部珍貴的歷史文獻全面地講述了山上的道觀在民國時期的重修過程,使得老君山的近、現代史不再是一片空白。