The Daoist Monastic Manual: A Translation of the Fengdao Kejie

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The Fengdao kejie or "Rules and Precepts for Worshiping the Dao" dates from the early seventh century and is a key text of medieval Daoist priesthood and monasticism, which was first formally organized in the sixth century. Compiled to serve the needs of both monastic practitioners and priests in training it describes the fundamental rules, organizational principles, and concrete establishments of Daoist institutions. Speaking in their own voices and presenting the ideal Daoist life of their time, priests and recluses come to life in this fascinating ancient document. Livia Kohn here offers the first complete annotated translation of the Fengdao kejie. She begins with three introductory chapters that outline the development of Daoist organizations and institutions, discuss the date and compilation of the work, and present key issues of terminology and worldview. The text itself contains eighteen sections that address the importance of karma and retribution, the creation of buildings, sacred statues, and scriptures, the design of sacred utensils and ritual clothing, the organization and structure of the ordination hierarchy, as well as a number of essential rituals, from the recitation of the scriptures to the daily devotions and the ordination ceremony. The Daoist Monastic Manual offers a clear and vibrant description of the lifestyle and organizational structures of medieval Daoism, rooting the religion in the concrete reality of daily activities.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Thanks largely to Livia Kohn, we can say that the institutions of medieval Daoism are beginning to come to light".—China Review International

"Kohn's meticulous translation brings the medieval world to life, giving readers a fascinating glimpse into the inspiring life of Chinese men and women who took up monastic vows. Highly recommended."—CHOICE

"An outstanding contribution to Daoist studies." —Religion

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195170702
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 4/28/2004
  • Series: American Academy of Religion Book Series
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 6.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Livia Kohn is Professor of Religion at Boston University. She has written or edited many books including, most recently, Monastic Life in Medieval Daoism: A Cross-Cultural Perspective (2003).

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Table of Contents

Pt. I Introduction
Ch. 1 The development and nature of Daoist institutions 3
Ch. 2 Authorship and textual history 23
Ch. 3 Related texts and relevant terminology 49
Pt. II Translation
Sandong Fengdao Kejie : rules and precepts for worshiping the Dao according to the three caverns 71
Sect. 1 Retribution of sins 75
Sect. 2 Retribution of good deeds 82
Sect. 3 Comprehensive structures 86
Sect. 4 Setting up monasteries 87
Sect. 5 Making sacred images 97
Sect. 6 Copying scriptures 103
Sect. 7 Conditions for ordination 105
Sect. 8 Ritual implements 115
Sect. 9 Ritual vestments 119
Sect. 10 Residences 122
Sect. 11 Reciting the scriptures 124
Sect. 12 Lecturing on the scriptures 128
Sect. 13 The ritual order 130
Sect. 14 Illustrations of ritual vestments 148
Sect. 15 Regular audience services 151
Sect. 16 The noon purgation 157
Sect. 17 Major assemblies 162
Sect. 18 Formal ordinations 167
Fragments and citations
Sect. 20 Transmission details (S.809) 172
Sect. 21 Annual purgations (Zhaijie lu 9a-10a) 174
Sect. 22 Levels of Daoists (Miaomen youqi 17b-18b) 175
Sect. 23 Interaction with ordinary people (P.3682) 177
Sect. 24 Compassionate assistance (P.3682) 179
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