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Saso, Michael R. (1971) Folk religion and folklore in Taiwan: A study of popular Taoism. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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The following is a work on popular religious Taoism, the result of field work carried out in Hsinchu city, Taiwan, between the years 1964 and 1970. It concerns the teachings of an orthodox Cheng-i Heavenly Master sect Taoist named Chuang-Ch'en, and his necessary relationships with the folk religion and its adherents. The first chapter shows that the basic principles of China's folk religion and of popular Taoism are the same. The second chapter cites the folklore and legends shared by the folk religion and Taoism, as well as the myths known only by the Taoist, concerning the origins of the cosmos, and of the doctrines of religious Taoism. Prom a secret Taoist manual the five kinds of Taoist orders are made known for the first time. The third chapter tells the legends of the Ho-t'u and Lo-shu, showing how: these two ancient charts are the basis for Taoist liturgy. Chapter four gives an interpretation of the Yellow Court Canon, (a cryptic text hitherto considered by scholars as a form of Taoist Yoga,) according to which the text must rightfully be considered a manual for liturgical meditation. Chapter five shows how Taoist meditation and the ritual of the popular Taoist are intimately connected. Finally chapter six describes the great festival of the folk religion called Chiao, in which Taoism and the aims of the folk religion are united. The thoughts presented represent orthodox Cheng-i Taoism as practised in north Taiwan, the origin of which can be traced to the Taoist monasteries of mainland China.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:13

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