Daoist Modern: Innovation, Lay Practice, and the Community of Inner Alchemy in Republican Shanghai

Daoist Modern: Innovation, Lay Practice, and the Community of Inner Alchemy in Republican Shanghai

by Xun Liu
     
 

ISBN-10: 0674033094

ISBN-13: 9780674033092

Pub. Date: 07/01/2009

Publisher: Harvard University Press

This book explores the Daoist encounter with modernity through the activities of Chen Yingning (1880–1969), a famous lay Daoist master, and his group in early twentieth-century Shanghai. In contrast to the usual narrative of Daoist decay, with its focus on monastic decline, clerical corruption, and popular superstitions, this study tells a story of Daoist

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Overview

This book explores the Daoist encounter with modernity through the activities of Chen Yingning (1880–1969), a famous lay Daoist master, and his group in early twentieth-century Shanghai. In contrast to the usual narrative of Daoist decay, with its focus on monastic decline, clerical corruption, and popular superstitions, this study tells a story of Daoist resilience, reinvigoration, and revival.

Between the 1920s and 1940s, Chen led a group of urban lay followers in pursuing Daoist self-cultivation techniques as a way of ensuring health, promoting spirituality, forging cultural self-identity, building community, and strengthening the nation. In their efforts to renew and reform Daoism, Chen and his followers became deeply engaged with nationalism, science, the religious reform movements, the new urban print culture, and other forces of modernity.

Since Chen and his fellow practitioners conceived of the Daoist self-cultivation tradition as a public resource, they also transformed it from an “esoteric” pursuit into a public practice, offering a modernizing society a means of managing the body and the mind and of forging a new cultural, spiritual, and religious identity.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674033092
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
07/01/2009
Series:
Harvard East Asian Monographs Series, #313
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
396
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.30(d)

Table of Contents

  • Figures
  • Abbreviations
  • Introduction

  1. Late Qing and Early Republican Daoism
  2. A Journey from Anqing to Shanghai
  3. Innovating Immortals’ Body: Nationalism, Antiquity, and Science
  4. Practice makes Perfect: Inner Alchemic Techniques and Regimens
  5. The Inner Alchemic Community
  6. The Print Culture and Revival of Inner Alchemy

  • Conclusion
  • Epilogue
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index

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