Friday, October 26, 2012
Riding the Wind with Liezi: New Perspectives on the Daoist Classic 《列子》
Ronnie Littlejohn & Jeffrey Dippmann
The Liezi is the forgotten classic of Daoism. Along with the Laozi (Daodejing) and the Zhuangzi, it’s been considered a Daoist masterwork since the mid-eighth century, yet unlike those well-read works, the Liezi is little known and receives scant scholarly attention. Nevertheless, the Liezi is an important text that sheds valuable light on the early history of Daoism, particularly the formative period of sectarian Daoism. We do not know exactly what shape the original text took, but what remains is replete with fantastic characters, whimsical tales, paradoxical aphorisms, and philosophically sophisticated reflection on the nature of the world and humanity’s place within it. Ultimately, the Liezi sees the world as one of change and indeterminacy.
Arguing for the Liezi’s historical, philosophical, and literary significance, the contributors to this volume offer a fresh look at this text, using contemporary approaches and providing novel insights. The volume is unique in its attention to both philosophical and religious perspectives.
Table of Content:
Part I The Liezi Text
1. Reading the Liezi: The First Thousand Years
2.The Liezi’s Use of the Lost Zhuangzi
3. Is the Liezi an Encheiridion?
Part II Interpretive Essays
1.Torches of Chaos and Doubt: Themes of Process and Transformations in the Liezi
2. The That-Beyond-Which of the Pristine Dao: Cosmogony in the Liezi
3.The Theme of Unselfconsciousness in the Liezi
4. Reading the Zhuangzi in Liezi: Redefining Xianship
Part III Applying the Teachings of the Liezi
1. Body and Identity
2. I, Robot: Self as Machine in the Liezi
3. Dancing with Yinyang: The Art of Emergence
4. How To Fish Like a Daoist
5. When Butterflflies Change into Birds: Life and Death in the Liezi