A Study of the "Central Scripture of Laozi" ("Laozi zhongjing")
|Title||A Study of the "Central Scripture of Laozi" ("Laozi zhongjing")|
|Year of Publication||2011|
|Academic Department||ProQuest Dissertations and Theses|
|Publisher||McGill University (Canada)|
|Keywords||Asian literature, Religion|
This thesis is a study of the Laozi zhongjing , an early medieval Chinese text, preserved in the Daoist Canon (Daozang ) in two versions. In the first chapter, I compare the extant versions, inquiring into the relationship between them, and then establish the interval for the text's possible dates of composition. In the second chapter, I argue that the text was deliberately written as an esoteric scripture and analyze the techniques which the text uses to create an atmosphere of secrecy; I then suggest that the best way to approach an esoteric scripture consists in scrutinizing the text in order to unravel its understanding of the categories which underlie its lifeworld. The third chapter is an investigation of the practices described in the Laozi zhongjing ; I aim to demonstrate that their main goal, immortality, is consistent with the text's cosmological model and is achieved via nurturing the Red Child, a numen residing within one's body that is associated with one's self.