Religious Taoism

Religious Taoism - ReligiousTaoism Religious Taoism...

Info iconThis preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Religious Taoism Religious Taoism appropriated earlier interest and belief in alchemy and the search for the elixir of life and the philosopher's stone. By the 5th cent. A.D., Taoism was a fully developed religious system with many features adopted from Mahayana Buddhism , offering emotional religious satisfaction to those who found the largely ethical system of Confucianism inadequate. Taoism developed a large pantheon (probably incorporating many local gods), monastic orders, and lay masters. Heading the commonly worshiped deities is the Jade Emperor. Directly under him, ruling from Mt. Tai, is the Emperor of the Eastern Mountain, who weighs merits and faults and assigns reward and punishment in this and future existences. An ecclesiastical hierarchy was founded in the 8th cent., headed by the T'ien Shih [master of heaven]; he claimed succession from Chang Tao-lin, an alchemist of the 2d cent. who was reputed to have discovered the elixir of immortality after receiving magical power from Lao Tzu. Throughout its history Taoism has provided the basis for many Chinese secret societies; in the 1950s,
Background image of page 1
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 01/04/2012 for the course AMH AMH2010 taught by Professor Pietrzak during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

Ask a homework question - tutors are online