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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 (New)

by Liu, Xun

Publisher: Harvard University Press

Binding: Hardcover with dust jacket

Book ID: 9780674033092, 0674033094

$65.00

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Description

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 lead 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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"As long as we lie to ourselves, the Trickster will be with us. He'll show up just when we least want him, to embarrass us on a first date, to prove us fools in front of the learned company we're trying to impress, to make us miss a power breakfast with that all-important business contact."
- Richard Smoley, from the introduction

Contents -- Spring 1991

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In November 1949, architect Frank Lloyd Wright announced the death of "the greatest man in the world," yet few knew who he was talking about. Enigmatic, misunderstood, declared a charlatan, and recently dubbed "the Rasputin who inspired Mary Poppins," Gurdjieff's life has become a legend. But who really was George Ivanovich Gurdjieff?

Employing the latest research and discoveries, including previously unpublished reminiscences of the real man, Tobias Churton investigates the truth beneath th...
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A lavishly packaged, two-volume box set containing the most faithful and accurate versions of John Dee's journals ever published. This is a must-have treasure for Dee aficionados and esoteric scholars who absolutely need the most meticulously detailed version of these highly influential works. A labor of love twenty years in the making, these volumes include transcripts of four manuscripts from the British Library and one from the Bodleian Library in Oxford. Two of these manuscripts have never b...
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