Lao-tzu and the Tao-te-ching: Studies in Ethics, Law, and the Human Ideal

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Livia Kohn, Associate Professor of Religion Livia Kohn, PhD, Michael LaFargue
SUNY Press, Jan 1, 1998 - Religion - 330 pages
Lao-tzu and the Tao-te-ching presents a coherent collection of materials on the ancient Chinese classic and its author, describing traditional and modern Western interpretations. Written and edited by recognized international specialists in the field, this book brings Lao-tzu and the Tao-te-ching together to present current scholarship on their history and interpretation. Contributors include William H. Baxter, Alan K.L. Chan, A.C. Graham, Julia M. Hardy, Yoshiko Kamitsuka, Livia Kohn, Michael LaFargue, Julian Pas, Isabelle Robinet, Benjamin Schwartz, and Liu Xiaogan. Divided into four parts, the book provides a wealth of information on the influential Chinese classic.

Part One, "Ancient Myths," discusses who Lao-tzu was, how he developed into a god of religious Taoism, and how his divinity was represented in medieval Chinese sculpture. Part Two, "Chinese Interpretations," discusses the role of the text in traditional China, studying the major commentaries by Wang Pi and He-shang-kung, looking at about thirty commentaries and their philological and doctrinal interpretations and examining the ritual uses the text found in medieval Taoism. Part Three, "Modern Readings," contains a critical discussion of the Tao-te-ching's reception in the West, a general analysis of its major doctrines, and a contemporary Chinese vision of its possible relevance for life today. Part Four, "Critical Methods," presents recent findings on the Tao-te-ching's linguistic structure and probable date, a historical, hermeneutic enquiry into its original meaning, and an evaluative guide to seventeen major English translations.


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It is what we drink breath n touch
It has no meaninging but the one meaning that states life is in all that u see hurt life n u hurt urself fuck confucious


The Origins of the Legend of Lao Tan
The Laotzu Myth
Laotzu in Six Dynasties Taoist Sculpture
Chinese Interpretations
A Tale of Two Commentaries Hoshangekung and Wang Pi on the Laotzu
Later Commentaries Textual Polysemy and Syncretistic Interpretations
The Taoteching in Ritual
Modern Readings
Naturalness Tzujan the Core Value in Taoism Its Ancient Meaning and Its Significance Today
Critical Methods
Situating the Language of the Laotzu The Probable Date of the Taoteching
Recovering the Taotechings Original Meaning Some Remarks on Historical Hermeneutics
On Translating the Taoteching
Index to Citations from Taoteching Chapters
List of Contributors

Influential Western Interpretations of the Taoteching
The Thought of the Taoteching

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About the author (1998)

Livia Kohn is Associate Professor of Religion at Boston University. She has written many books including most recently The Taoist Experience: An Anthology, also published by SUNY Press, and Laughing at the Tao: Debates among Buddhists and Taoists in Medieval China.

Michael LaFargue is Lecturer in Religious Studies and Director of the East Asian Studies program at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. He is the author of The Tao of the Tao-te-ching and Tao and Method: A Reasoned Approach to the Tao-te-ching, both published by SUNY Press.

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