"Daoist Ritual and Practice"

Dartmouth Events

"Daoist Ritual and Practice"

Library exhibit exploring religious interactions in traditional and modern China. Reception. Remarks by Religion Professor Gil Raz at 4:30. Free and open to all.

Thursday, May 5, 2016
Baker-Berry Library
Intended Audience(s): Public
Categories: Exhibitions

Exhibit Reception: Thursday, May 5,  4-6pm, Baker-Berry Main Street
Free & Open to All.


About the exhibit: Daoism (Taoism) is a Chinese religion whose history extends over 2500 years to ancient China. At the core of Daoism are ancient ideas concerning Dao 道, the Way, the fundamental process of existence. All things in the world, and the world itself, emerged from the Dao. Humans, as individuals and as a society, should be aligned with the Dao in order to live in harmony with the patterns of the cosmos and attain the fullness of life, and even beyond the limits of mundane time and space. These ideas were at the core of several philosophical, political, and technical traditions in ancient China, and formed the basis for Chinese medicine, martial arts, divination, alchemy, and many other traditions. Although there are numerous ways to approach and embody the cosmic powers of the Dao, the Dao itself remains undefined and ineffable. In the words of Laozi, the purported author of the Scripture of the Way and Virtue (Daode jing 道德經): “The Way that can be spoken of is not the eternal Way.”

These ancient ideas took on new form in the 2nd century C.E. The decline of the Han Dynasty and subsequent conquest of north China led to an eschatological crisis. Lord Lao, a deified from of Laozi, appeared to Zhang Daoling on a mountain top in Sichuan province, bestowing upon him the title Celestial Master (Tianshi 天師) and promising to deliver his adherents from the depredations of the present world. This new religious movement formed the basis for Daoism to the present. Throughout its history, Daoism interacted with other traditions in China, such as Buddhism, medicine, and local religious practice. The four cases in this exhibit show glimpses of four moments of Daoist religion and its place in Chinese religious culture.

Exhibit curated by Professor Gil Raz, Department of Religion; design by Dennis Grady, Library Education and Outreach; administrative and other assistance by Nienlin Xie, Xiaofan Zhang, and Laura Barrett.
Co-sponsored by the Religion Department, Dean of Faculty Office, and Baker-Berry Library.

Exhibit: April 5 - June 24, 2016, Baker-Berry Library, Berry Main Street


For more information, contact:
Marcia Welsh

Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.