Daoist Studies

Weekend devotees light incense on Maoshan (Jiangsu)
Weekend devotees light incense on Maoshan (Jiangsu)

Since my PhD thesis on Daoism and Christianity (Boston University, 2000), I have been concerned with trying to understand Daoism as a cultural phenomenon that presents a unique and intriguing vision of the human body in relation to its cosmic context. This relationship I called “an economy of cosmic power,” an economy that is ritually transacted through Daoist practices that negotiate the engagement of the body with the cosmos in which it is implicated. The goal of this transaction is to extend and transform the life processes of the body, which are understood in Daoist theology as a complex integration of cosmic forces.

As part of this project to make Daoism more widely understood and more deeply thought, I have been instrumental in the project of building a public consciousness of Daoism through books, media and on the Internet. Key to this has been the Daoist Studies website, a leading database portal for the study of all things Daoism, with over 1,000 subscribers and 10,000 pages of information. I continue to maintain and develop this website, which runs on the open-source Drupal platform.

Key Resources

Daoist Studies website. 2000-. www.daoiststudies.org

American Daoist cultivation website. 2006-. www.daoiststudies.org/dao/american-daoist-cultivation

Miller, James. 2008. Daoism: A Beginner’s Guide. Oxford: Oneworld publications.

Miller, James. 2001. “Envisioning The Daoist Body in the Economy of Cosmic Power.” Daedalus