Pub. date: 2002 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950664 | Print ISBN: 9780761922582 | Online ISBN: 9781412950664| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Daoism is the indigenous higher religion of traditional China. Daoism sees crime and punishment in a cosmic dimension, understanding “law” to be divine law and placing the individual into the larger context of the universe. The universe is represented by the Dao, the underlying force of creation, and qi (vital energy), its material, tangible, and practical aspect. The universe is also represented by a large number of deities, which reside in the human body, society, nature, and the heavens. Crimes in this context are for the most part sins or bad deeds directed toward oneself, the deities, other people, nature, and the social environment. Punishments are meted out by the powers of cosmic balance— qi reverberations, karma, and the gods—which bring evil back to the perpetrator. These punishments include misfortune, failing health, a shorter life span, and tortures in a set of underworld prisons (hell). To prevent this fate, The ...