Cultivating Perfection: Mysticism and Self-transformation in Early Quanzhen Daoism

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This important work focuses on early Quanzhen (Complete Perfection) Daoism, a twelfth-century Daoist religious movement and subsequent monastic order. Emphasis in this first study to approach Quanzhen from a comparative religious studies perspective is placed on the complex interplay among views of self, specific training regimens, and the types of experiences that were expected to follow from dedicated praxis. On the basis of historical contextualization and textual analysis it is demonstrated that in its formative and incipient organized phases Quanzhen was a Daoist religious community consisting of a few renunciants dedicated to religious praxis. The study proper is followed by a complete annotated translation of a text attributed to the founder, which represents one of only two early Quanzhen texts translated to date. Subsequent appendices address issues of dating and contents of the early textual corpus as well as technical Quanzhen religious terminology.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789004160385
  • Publisher: Brill Academic Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/11/2007
  • Series: Sinica Leidensia Series, #76
  • Pages: 554
  • Product dimensions: 6.87 (w) x 9.68 (h) x 1.51 (d)

Meet the Author

Louis Komjathy Ph.D. in Religious Studies, Boston University, is Assistant Professor of Religion at Pacific Lutheran University and Research Associate of the Institute of Religion, Science, and Social Studies (Shandong University, PRC). He also serves as Co-director of the Center for Daoist Studies and Co-chair of the Daoist Studies Consultation of the American Academy of Religion. He has previously published Title Index to Daoist Collections (Three Pines Press, 2002).
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Table of Contents

Preface     ix
Acknowledgments     xi
List of Tables     xvii
List of Illustrations     xix
List of Abbreviations     xxi
Introduction     1
Approaches to Daoist Studies
On the Meaning of Quanzhen
Defining Characteristics
Scope of the Study
Early Quanzhen in Historical and Comparative Perspective
Historical Development     33
Formative Phase
Wang Chongyang and the First-Generation Disciples
Incipient Organized and Organized Phases
From Religious Movement to Monastic Order
Two Self Praxis Experience     63
Considering Self
Transformative Praxis
Mysticism and Experience
Self Praxis, Experience
Ordinary Human Being     98
Self as Decaying Corpse
Skeletons and Marionettes
Sources of Dissipation
Abandoning Habituation and Conditioning
Self in Cultivational Context     114
Foundational Views
Beyond Ordinary Human Being
The Alchemical Body
The Quanzhen Synthesis
Foundational Practices     147
Ethical Rectification and Purification
Seclusion and Meditation Enclosure
Ascetic Commitments
Advanced Training Regimens     174
Wugeng Training
Cultivating Clarity and Stillness
Inner Observation
Alchemical Methods
Transformations of Self
Mystical Experiences and Numinous Abilities     216
Encounters with Immortals
Signs of Successful Training
Boons alongthe Way
Mystical Being and Mystical Experiencing     239
Transformational Experiences
Formation of the Yang-spirit
Immortality and Perfection
Mystical Being and Mystical Experiencing
Complete Annotated Translation of the Chongyang Zhenren Jinguan Yusuo Jue
Translation Introduction: Approaching Perfected Chongyang's Instructions     265
Date and Authorship
Survey of Contents
Annotated Translation: Perfected Chongyang's Instructions on the Gold Pass and Jade Lock     286
Concise Chronology of Early Quanzhen Daoism     371
Genealogy of Early Quanzhen Daoism     378
Early Quanzhen Textual Corpus     382
Chinese Text of Chongyang zhenren jinguan yusuo jue     423
Towards a Technical Glossary of Early Quanzhen Daoism     435
Comparative Chart of Hachiya's Annotations with the Text Contained in the Daoist Canon (DZ 1156)     490
Character Glossary     493
Works Thought Through     507
Index     535
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