daoism

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James Miller. 2013. “Daoism and Development.” Pp. 113-123 in Handbook of Research on Development and Religion edited by Matthew Clarke. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar. Overview of Daoism Daoism, also spelled Taoism, is China’s organized, indigenous religious system. Daoists take as their focus the goal of obtaining the Dao, or Way, the unnameable source of generative vitality in…

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James Miller. 2013. “Authenticity, Sincerity and Spontaneity: The Mutual Implication of Nature and Religion in China and the West.” Method and Theory in the Study of Religion 25: 283-307 Abstract Fundamental approaches to ethics and morality in both China and the West are bound up not only with conceptions of religion and ultimate truth, but also with…

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A priest at the Daoist temple in Rio de Janeiro

 Daniel M. Murray and James Miller. 2013. “The Daoist Society of Brazil and the Globalization of Orthodox Unity.” Journal of Daoist Studies 6: 93-114. Abstract Taken out of Chinese cultural context, Daoism is often associated with physical cultivation practices such as qigong or taiji quan rather than the traditional lineages of Quanzhen or Zhengyi a hierarchically organized religion.…

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This term I have the privilege of co-teaching a new seminar course at Queen’s (with Emily Hill) on the topic of Green China: Environment, Culture, Politics. The course examines the intersections between religion, culture, politics, and the natural environment in China over the past century. One of the first books we read was Farmers of Forty…

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The electronic prayer hall at Wong Tai Sin (photo: Sik Sik Yuen)

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,…

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Laozi Statue on Maoshan

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…

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The International Taoist Tai Chi Society celebrates its fortieth anniversary at Dundas Square, Toronto / Rick Eglinton / Toronto Star

For Danny Simmons, a Toronto musician and sound designer, Taoist tai chi has been a life-saver. Faced with the prospect of a double hip replacement, he took up this increasingly popular practice, and gradually regained strength and flexibility in his joints. “Taoist tai chi allowed me to take my health into my own hands,” he…

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In a Wall Street Journal blog today, Christopher Carothers asks, “Is Daoism is losing its way?” He writes: Today, Buddhism is regaining its traditional place as the largest religion in Chinese society. Islam is expanding through the growth of Muslim families in the Hui and Uyghur minority ethnic groups. Protestantism and Catholicism are winning new…

Read More daoism’s quest for relevance