Religious Studies | Introduction to Taoism
R265 | 14157 | P. Fischer

The above course carries COLL A & H and Culture Studies A

Two distinct intellectual traditions have been subsumed under the
single English term “Daoism.”  The first is centered on a small
group of texts written c.400-200bce which promotes a naturalist
philosophy of living and ruling.  We will examine some of these
texts in the first third of the term.  The second is actually not a
singular tradition but a number of religions that arose in China
after the first century of the common era.  Among Chinese religions,
those that refer to the ultimate cosmic entity as the “Dao” are
often accorded the title “Daoist”.  These Daoist religions share
both marked similarities as well as considerable differences.  They
also appropriated concepts, practices, and texts from the Chinese
cultural heritage as well as from other religions, both domestic and
foreign.  The last two thirds of this course is a historical survey
of five of the most popular Daoist religions.  More attention will
be paid to doctrine than to practice.  Themes include gods and
goddesses, divine revelation, political protest, textual commentary,
eschatology, meditation, alchemy, and liturgy. If interested email for a syllabus