Myth and Meaning in Early Daoism
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Myth and Meaning in Early Daoism

The Theme of Chaos (Hundun)

Paperback 35.95 USD
Electronic file 15.00 USD To order, please go to www.lulu.com
Norman J. Girardot
276 Pages
February 2008
ISBN 978-1-931483-10-0

Description

Myth and Meaning in Early Daoism examines some of the earliest texts associated with the Daoist tradition (primarily the Daode jing, Zhuangzi, and Huainanzi) from the outlook of the comparative history of religions and finds a kind of thematic and soteriological unity rooted in the mythological symbolism of hundun, the primal chaos being and principle that is foundational for the philosophy and practice of the Dao as creatio continua in cosmic, social, and individual life.

Dedicated to the proposition that ancient Chinese texts and traditions are often best understood from a broad interdisciplinary and interpretive perspective, this work when it was written challenged many prevailing conceptions of the Daode jing and Zhuangzi as primarily philosophical texts without any religious significance or affinity with the later sectarian traditions. While controversial and at times playfully provocative, the methodology and findings of this book are still important for the ongoing scholarship about Daoism in China and the world.

Contents

INTRODUCTION: 1
CHAPTER ONE:
Historical Background: Schools and Politics
6
CHAPTER TWO:
Major Representatives: Daoists of the Liang and Tang
25
CHAPTER THREE:
The Sources: Commentaries and Scriptures
45
CHAPTER FOUR:
Key Concepts: Mystery, Dao, and the Greater Cosmos
74
CHAPTER FIVE:
Salvation: Dao-nature and the Sage
97
CHAPTER SIX:
The Teaching: Mysticism, Cultivation and Integration
116
CHAPTER SEVEN:
Changes in the Pantheon: Laozi and the Heavenly Deities
135
CHAPTER EIGHT:
The Body of the Sage: The Three-in-One and the Three-fold Body of the Buddha
155
CONCLUSION 172
 
APPENDICES 179
BIBLIOGRAPHY 199
INDEX 223