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Daoism and Chinese Culture [Paperback]

Livia Kohn
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 1, 2001 1931483000 978-1931483001 3 (2012)
Concise and comprehensive introduction to the Daoist religion, thematically divided into four parts: Ancient Thought, Religious Communities, Spiritual Practices, Modernity. The book offers an integrated vision of the tradition in its historical and cultural context, also placing it into a larger framework of comparative religion. Contains many original sources and useful references for further reading. Great for students, practitioners, and general audiences.

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Editorial Reviews


This book comprehensively covers all main topics and periods of Daoism. It does not stop after the Tang as earlier works tend to do, but goes all the way into the present and also to some extent discusses Daoism in non-Chinese cultures. It is clearly and lucidly written and addresses a broad audience--not necessarily of sinological background. It may well be used in the classroom and by interested nonspecialists. --Stephan-Peter Bumbacher

About the Author

Livia Kohn is a world-renowned scholar of Daoism and professor of Religion and East Asian Studies at Boston University. She has published over 30 book, including, most recently <Sitting in Oblivion> and <Living Authentically>. She runs international conferences and is the editors of the Journal of Daoist Studies.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 228 pages
  • Publisher: Three Pines Press; 3 (2012) edition (May 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1931483000
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931483001
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 6 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #672,852 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Introduction to Daoism May 23, 2001
Livia Kohn has taught Daoism to college students for over 15 years, and she just edited the Daoism Handbook (which you can buy for a whopping $245!). She's one of the world's experts on Daoism, and for the first time she's put together an extraordinarily readable introduction to one of the world's most fascinating and least understood religions.
Unlike many books on Daoism this book covers the whole history from ancient wisdom traditions, through medieval religious communities, to contemporary spiritual practices such as Qigong and Falun gong. Nowhere else are you going to get as comprehensive, and as readable an introduction.
It's not just dry history because the author makes connections to broader issues in Chinese culture and also to issues in comparative religions such as mysticism, modernity, identity and community. It's a great book and great value too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Many Daos December 22, 2011
Livia Kohn has written an excellent, if not sometimes overly detailed, introduction to Daoism in Daoism and Chinese Culture. The complexity is confusing, but also compelling. She does not shy away from showing how Daoism changed over time, incorporating a wide variety of practices from Chinese folk religion and tradition, Buddhism, Confucianism, as well as going through a myriad of internal changes, as it transmuted into different branches and trends, each stressing some new or old (or new-old) element of Daoism.

Daoism comes across in Kohn's book not as Daoism, but daoisms. There is great deal of information in this book ina short space, and Kohn does not dilute it for us in the least.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Overview April 14, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Livia Kohn's book is both a wonderful survey of Daoist philosophy but also an engaging cultural history.
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