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The Taoist Body Paperback – March 19, 1994

ISBN-13: 978-0520082243 ISBN-10: 0520082249

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The Taoist Body + Wandering on the Way: Early Taoist Tales and Parables of Chuang Tzu + Tao Te Ching
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (March 19, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520082249
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520082243
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #165,424 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Schipper is one of the best-known scholars on the Taoist religion and the only one in the West who has been ordained as a Taoist priest. . . . This book is thought-provoking."--"Journal of Asian and African Studies

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Zentao on June 17, 2002
Format: Paperback
Schipper is one of the few of European descent to ever become an ordained Taoist priest. This gives him a unique view on some of the history and practices of Taoism but there are some caveats to be noted.
The book provides a good contextual overview of many facets of the culture that gave rise to Taoism. Schipper makes a number of interesting points regarding the general culture and Taoist practices including the so-called 'bedroom manuals'. Also included are some good points about gender issues and Taoism as well as his take on some of the Taoist legends and past masters. There are short chapters outlining Qigong and the practice of cultivation which include some very good (although short) translations of some of the more famous Taoist canons. There is also a great overview of the whole cereal abstinence debate as well as some thoughts on Taoist external alchemy that I found quite interesting. There is a good (although too short, IMHO) overview on Taoist hermits and why the took to the mountains.
All of this is presented in quite a scholarly manner, more in line with a true reference book than many others available right now. This is both good and bad, in my opinion. That is, we should remember that "the Tao that is spoken of is not the true Tao". Schipper needs to be taken with a large 'grain of salt' since obviously his 'version' of the Tao is dependent on his master's lineage. There is a reason there are so many 'flavours' of Taoism and that has to do with the fact that, ultimately, cultivation is an extremely personal past time!
So there are many aspects that are missing and possibly misleading here. Bigu (or even fasting) is not really mentioned, probably because it is not part of his sect's way.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book itself is delightful to read. It is well researched and, where references to popular rituals within China appear to differ from a pure Taoist tradition the writer points this out. I like that as I have a perception of what Taoist might mean so it is reassuring to have my opinion upheld.
The delivery and condition of the book was excellent.
Anne G.
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