Daoism is an organised religious tradition that has been continuously developing and transforming itself through China, Korea and Japan for some two thousand years. Now it has spread around the globe from Sydney to Toronto and includes among its followers people from a whole range of ethnicities and cultural backgrounds. Day by day, Daoism is truly becoming a world religion, but as it does so, it seems to resist being pinned down in neat categories. Not many people know what Daoism is, and when people do have an understanding of it, often it is quite different from someone else's.
Hi there, Everyone:
I am a Theravada Buddhist from Thailand and I was hoping you might be able to tell me what the impact of Daoism is on Buddhism as practiced in the Chan and Zen Schools of China and Japan.
I guess there must be quite a big impact, so if this question is too broad then if you could recommend a resource or two that would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance.
Daoism: Religion, History and Society
Call for Papers
While studies on Daoism have grown very fast over the past few decades, they do not have a distinct identity of their own within the larger academic world, and up to now lack a forum where concerned scholars can debate and further define the state and the future of the field. Thus, the Centre for Studies of Daoist Culture (The Chinese University of Hong Kong) and the École française d’Extrême-Orient have joined their efforts in creating this academic journal: Daoism: Religion, History and Society.
As China overtakes Japan to be recognized as the world’s second largest economy, it is inevitable that Chinese religions will undergo change and transformation. But since Marx infamously compared the social function of religion to that of a narcotic, religion has consistently been framed in the modern imagination as backwards, anti-modern, and anti-science. China’s modernizers, likewise, have viewed religion as a problem to be overcome in the quest to build the new China, and their view has become part of the mainstream amongst Chinese youth.
The Way of Poetry, by John Leonard (65 pages)
This concise, potent essay presents a first comprehensive theory of what “Daoist” poetry might involve. Beginning with the vision of the ancient classics and informed by Daoist practice, John Leonard searches through poetry from different cultures to find a class of putatively Daoist poetry outside the Chinese tradition. He then suggests ways to recognise its following of the Way and outlines basic principles and guidelines, also including a number of his own poems.
In May this year I had the opportunity to visit Maoshan (Mt. Mao) a Daoist mountain sacred to the Shangqing (Highest Clarity) tradition of Daoism that I studied in my most recent book. Located in Jiangsu province, it is about an hour’s bus ride south of Zhenjiang, a stop on the main high speed railway from Shanghai to Nanjing. I was interested to visit Maoshan not only because of my historical research, but because it was the site of the Maoshan declaration, which in 2008 committed China’s Daoist Association to a ten year program of ecological protection.