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Lao-Tzu and the Tao-Te-Ching Paperback – March 19, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press (March 19, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0791436004
  • ISBN-13: 978-0791436004
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #432,961 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Fascination with the Tao-te-ching is never-ending. But until now, the curious have had very few avenues for exploring the many facets of Lao-tzu's work other than the myriad translations and their brief introductions. In Lao-tzu and the Tao-te-ching, scholars Livia Kohn and Michael LaFargue invite some of the top minds in ancient Chinese philosophy and language to apply their technical expertise to the Tao-te-ching. The result is a playground of ideas and information. In addition to penning an essay on the evolution of Lao-tzu into a full-blown Taoist god, Kohn also translates an essay from French and another from Japanese--and they are two of the best in the book. While religion specialist Julia Hardy rehashes influential Western interpretations of the Tao-te-ching, Isabelle Robinet, a French historian who studies China, introduces us to a few of the 700 or so Chinese commentaries. Japanese religious historian Yoshiko Kamitsuka does as well with a fascinating study of Taoist sculpture--its gods, its inscriptions, and its development. Here is the latest on who Lao-tzu was and when the Tao-te-ching was written, and what a difference it will make to your own reading of this perennial favorite. --Brian Bruya

About the Author

Livia Kohn is Associate Professor of Religion at Boston University. She has written many books including most recently The Taoist Experience: An Anthology, also published by SUNY Press, and Laughing at the Tao: Debates among Buddhists and Taoists in Medieval China. Michael LaFargue is Lecturer in Religious Studies and Director of the East Asian Studies program at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. He is the author of The Tao of the Tao-te-ching and Tao and Method: A Reasoned Approach to the Tao-te-ching, both published by SUNY Press. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Demitri Pevzner on March 18, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book is without a doubt, of great value to any serious scholar of Taoism. While not primarily dealing with the philosophies and rituals of Taoism (some are mentioned in passing, and discussed in historical context,) the authors do explain a great deal about the evolution of Taoist thoughts, philosophies, and interpretation of the Tao Te Ching throughout history.

The volume deals with the problems encountered while trying to evaluate the Tao Te Ching's exact date, authorship, and possible origins, all of which are discussed in great detail, with sources of referene provided for those who wish to do further reading/research.

Discussed, is the inherent problem with the various translations of the text, it's variations, it's style of writing, and potential for confusion and multiple meaning/phonetics.

While someone looking for Taoist rituals and philosophies will find this book a dry read, a historian or researcher will find an invaluable source of knowlege and reference.
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By Giai Tat on September 16, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
With different topics and alternative points of view. This book of Lao-Tzu or Tao-Te-ching is very enjoyable to read.
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