The definitive guide to understanding Taoism—no matteryour background or faith
Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching is the second most translated bookin the world, and the practice of religious Taoism is on the risein China, where adherents currently number in the hundreds ofmillions. Yet there remains a remarkable lack of reliableinformation about Taoism for curious westerners. Taoism ForDummies provides comprehensive coverage of Taoism's origins inChina's Chou Dynasty, its underlying quietist principles, itsemergence as a major religion, various interpretation of its coretexts, including both Eastern and Western interpretations, keyTaoist concepts, and much more. It also provides a fascinatingglimpse of Taoism in contemporary China.
- The ideal guide for readers interested in this influentialreligion, as well as those taking an introductory course on Taoismor Chinese Religion
- A valuable source of insight for those with an interest inmodern Chinese culture and beliefs
About the Author
Jonathan Herman, PhD, is the Director of Undergraduate Studies and Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Georgia State University in Atlanta, where he teaches courses in Taoism, Confucianism, Buddhism, Shinto, world religions, comparative mysticism, and critical theory in the study of religion. He has written extensively on various aspects of Taoism, Chinese religion, and modern religious issues.
Table of Contents
Part I: Navigating the World of Taoism 7
Chapter 1: An Introduction to Taoism 9
Chapter 2: What Is Taoism? 19
Chapter 3: Don’t Believe Everything You Think 31
Part II: Looking At the Development of Taoism 45
Chapter 4: Classical Taoist Philosophy 47
Chapter 5: The Development of Institutional Taoism 73
Chapter 6: Types of Taoism in China Today 91
Chapter 7: Go West, Old Tao, Go West 109
Part III: Examining Important Taoist Concepts 133
Chapter 8: What Is the Tao, and What Does It Mean to Follow It35
Chapter 9: Doing Everything by Doing Nothing 157
Chapter 10: For Every Yin, There Is an Equal and Opposite Yang177
Chapter 11: Blue Heaven, Yellow Heaven: The Belief in a New Age193
Chapter 12: Writing What Can’t Be Spoken: The Many Textsof Taoism 207
Part IV: Exploring Taoist Practices 225
Chapter 13: Remembering to Keep Forgetting 227
Chapter 14: Seeking the Path to Immortality 241
Chapter 15: Internal Cultivation through the Discipline ofAlchemy 259
Chapter 16: Martial, Gymnastic, and Healing Arts: T’ai-chiand Ch’i-kung 277
Chapter 17: Cosmic Renewal and Other Rituals 291
Part V: The Part of Tens 305
Chapter 18: Ten Common Misconceptions about Taoism 307
Chapter 19: Ten Bits of Advice for Acquiring Taoist Wisdom315
Chapter 20: Ten Places to See Taoist Stuff Happening Today323
Part VI: Appendixes 331
Appendix A: Glossary 333
Appendix B: Resources 347
Appendix C: Pronunciation Guide 353
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Filled with great information about Taoism. Corrects lots of misconceptions without making the reader feel stupid.
I've always found books on Taoism either overly academic and condescending, or kind of touchy-feely. This Dummies book finally introduces Taoism the right way, not sacrificing the complexity of the subject, but never losing sight that the audience probably doesn't consist of experts. I think I learned something on every page.
Excellent, accessible, entertaining intro to Taoism. A really enjoyable read.
Sorry Its 5 stars from December 12