JDS 15 (2022)

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CONTENTS

Articles 
Zornica KirkovaCourting Transcendence: Poetry and Daoism in the Southern Dynasties (420-589)
Lennert GesterkampA Thousand Miles of Streams and Mountains: Daoist Self-Cultivation in a Song Landscape Painting
Zhang WeiThe Geographical Origins of Li Daochun
Yanning WangDreaming of the Female Immortal: Xu Xishen’s Chants on the Paintings of Embracing the True
Georges FavraudWalking to Shape One’s Life: Daoism and Pilgrimage at the Southern Marchmount
  
Forum 
Dessislava DamyanovaThe Daoist Discourse on Nature
Abraham PoonWater as a Symbol of the Great Dao
Zhongxian WuInternal Cultivation in the Daode jing
Lonny S. JarrettDeepening Perspectives on Spirit
John LeonardThe Daoist Dickinson
Serban ToaderA Short Tale of Louguantai
Ko Nam-SikKang Jeungsan and the Origins of Modern Korean Daoism
Suzy BalliettDaoist Talismans for Healing

Zornica Kirkova – Courting Transcendence: Poetry and Daoism in the Southern Dynasties (420-589)

This paper examines some aspects of the interaction between court poetry and the Shangqing Daoist tradition during the Southern Dynasties, with special attention to the changes in poetic imagery, its religious sources and the contexts and audiences of poetic performance. It surveys how the Shangqing revelations enriched the early medieval poetic repertoire as reflected in the treatment of three broad topics: divine topography, attainment of immortality, and the image of perfected life.

Lennert Geesterkamp – A Thousand Miles of Streams and Mountains: Daoist Self-Cultivation in a Song Landscape Painting

A Thousand Miles of Streams and Mountains (Qianli jiangshan tu千里江山圖) is the name of a famous 12-meter-long landscape painting of the Northern Song dynasty. It was painted in 1113 by a 17-year-old prodigy, Wang Ximeng 王希孟, under Emperor Huizong’s 徽宗 (r. 1101-1125) supervision, an accomplished painter and a Daoist initiate himself. In this paper I argue that the handscroll depicts a story of Daoist self-cultivation, from lay-life, initiation, receiving training, to eventually attaining Dao (becoming immortal) and the afterlife as an immortal. This story is depicted in both the iconographic details of the figures, buildings, paths, bridges and other elements, guiding the viewer through the landscape, and the composition of the handscroll, mirroring the development of the story by means of the particular placement and the form of the landscape. Because of his close involvement, the landscape painting offers a unique and amazing insight into Huizong’s personal views on what constitutes a Daoist and Daoist self-cultivation, if not his ideas on Daoist landscape painting in the Song dynasty.

Zhang Wei – The Geographical Origins of Li Daochun

There has been some controversy in academic circles as to the geographical origin of the Yuan-dynasty master Li Daochun, well known for his systematization of internal alchemy. The town he grew up in is called Duliang 都梁in all sources, but some place it in Hunan while others locate it in Jiangsu. After examining previous arguments on the issue, the paper is based on three perspectives: Duliang as not so much a specific place than a generic term for hometown; as a particular geographical location; and in its distinctiveness as a cultural symbol. Evidence from the records of Duliang in the local chronicles, combined with the areas Li Daochun was active in, revels that when Duliang refers to a hometown, it is in fact another name for Xuyi in Jiangsu, which mainly appeared in the Song and Yuan Dynasties.

Yanning Wang – Dreaming of the Female Immortal: Xu Xishen’s Chants on the Paintings of Embracing the True

This article examines a late Qing woman writer Xu Xishen’s writings titled Chants on the Paintings of Embracing the True. In these poetic and prosaic writings, Xu portrayed her deceased daughters, especially her older daughter, as Daoist female immortals. Xu’s writings were uniquely inspired by twenty paintings based on various dreams. These dreams concern a wide variety of human-immortal encounters between the deceased daughters and the dreamers from the family community, including Xu herself, her husband, extended family members, and maidservants. These writings, involving multiple perspectives and literary genres, will shed light on our understanding of how Daoist imagery played a significant role in a late imperial woman writer’s literary creation.

Georges Favraud – Walking to Shape One’s Life: Daoism and Pilgrimage at the Southern Marchmount

This article examines Daoist concepts of the relationship between the body and the mountain through the lens of ritual steps and pilgrimage, as observed in the famous Southern Marchmount (Nanyue). The lived relationship between the body and the mountain makes it possible for pilgrims to engage in a process of transformation. Several factors stand out: the immensity of the landscape, where the ritual practitioner or pilgrim progress; the concentration and effort invested in the walk following the topography; the work of interior sincerity (cheng) necessary to engage with the gods in a formal audience; and the fluidification of thoughts. They all contribute to blur common social benchmarks and conventional cognitive processes. The moment of liminality offers the pilgrim the opportunity to reassemble certain representations of his or her existence through first stammering, then gradually uttering a clear and foundational statement about his life.