Chinese History And World View: Taoism

655 words - 3 pages

Taoism is an ancient tradition of philosophy and religious belief that is deeply rooted in Chinese customs and worldview.Taoism is also referred to as Daoism, which is a more accurate way of representing in English the sound of the Chinese word. The Tao is the ultimate creative principle of the universe. Under this ethos, All things are unified and connected. The principle of Yin Yang portrays the world as filled with complementary forces. Prior to the Communist revolution in China, Taoism was one of the strongest religions. However, after a campaign to destroy non-Communist religion, the number of followers was significantly reduced, and it is currently difficult to assess the statistical popularity of Taoism in the world. Taoism has no founder and no founding date. Instead, it is thought to have been an extension of various religious and philosophical traditions in ancient China, including shamanism and nature religion. As a religion, Taoism began in the year 142 C.E. with the revelation of the Tao to Zhang Daoling, Taishang laojun, the Highest Venerable Lord. Zhang Daoling then assumed the role of the first Celestial Master. He also founded and organized the first Taoist school of thought. The current Celestial Master resides in Taiwan.

Taoism synthesized and adapted local religious rituals and beliefs of the time. Taoism was first recognized as a religious system during the 4th and 3rd centuries BCE, and the publication of the Tao Te Ching and other works provided a focus for Taoist thinking. During the Tang dynasty, Taoism became a semi-official Chinese religion. However, as Confucianism gained popularity, Taoism as a major movement decline and shifted from an official religion to a popular religious tradition.

aoism has held political and social influence in China for over the past 2000 years. Taoism offers a counterbalance to the extremely structured world of Confucianism. Advocating a more passive approach, taoism advocates fluidity and a belief that the universe governed itself according to it's own rhythms. Thus, Taoist idelogical...

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