Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Daoism is a Chinese way of thinking that is best understood as being composed of two traditions, philosophical Daoism and religious Daoism. Both traditions are primarily derived from texts of archaic antiquity. Among them are the Dao De Jing (Classic of the Dao and Its Power) and the Zhuang Zi (Master Zhuang). As the major inspiration and authoritative source of Daoism, the Dao De Jing is a combination of poetry, philosophical reflection, and mystical speculation that is composed of some 5,200 words. Given its present form, this classic was probably completed in the third or fourth century BC. However, its original title is Lao Zi (“Old Master”), which attributes the authorship to a legendary figure who was born around 602 BC. It is likely that a good part of the book was edited from much older texts at the time of rendition and put in the mouth of Lao Zi ...