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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Celestial Masters: History and Ritual in Early Daoist Communities

Author:
Terry F. Kleeman

Publisher:
Harvard University Press

Publication Date:
2016.7.11




Abstract:

In 142 CE, the divine Lord Lao descended to Mount Cranecall (Sichuan province) to establish a new covenant with humanity through a man named Zhang Ling, the first Celestial Master. Facing an impending apocalypse caused by centuries of sin, Zhang and his descendants forged a communal faith centering on a universal priesthood, strict codes of conduct, and healing through the confession of sins; this faith was based upon a new, bureaucratic relationship with incorruptible supernatural administrators. By the fourth century, Celestial Master Daoism had spread to all parts of China, and has since played a key role in China’s religious and intellectual history.

Celestial Masters is the first book in any Western language devoted solely to the founding of the world religion Daoism. It traces the movement from the mid-second century CE through the sixth century, examining all surviving primary documents in both secular and canonical sources to offer a comprehensive account of the development of this poorly understood religion. It also provides a detailed analysis of ritual life within the movement, covering the roles of common believer or Daoist citizen, novice, and priest or libationer.

Table of Contents:

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction

I. History

1. The Founding of the Celestial Master Church: External Evidence
The Record of the Three Kingdoms
Zhang Xiu and Liu Yan
The Hanzhong Theocracy
Daoist Institutions and Life in Hanzhong

2. The Founding of the Celestial Master Church: Internal Documents
The Revelation to Zhang Ling
The Zhang Pu Stele of 173
The Laozi and the Xiang’er Commentary
Daoists and the Profane
Authority in the Xiang’er

3. After the Fall: Daoism in the Third Century
Yangping Parish
Church Offices
The Parish System
Commands and Precepts for the Great Family of the Dao
Demon Statutes of Lady Blue
Prohibitions and Taboos
The Merging of the Pneumas Rite
Demons and the Dao

4. Daoism under the Northern and Southern Dynasties
The Li Family and the Cheng-Han State
North China: The Northern Wei and Northern Zhou
South China: Gentry Daoism and Sun En

II. Ritual and Community

5. Ritual Life
The Oratory
The Parish
Daoist Attire

6. The Daoist Citizen
Precepts
The Daily Audience
The Assemblies
The Kitchens

7. The Novice
The Register
Ordination
Promotion
Gender, Class, and Ethnicity
Appendix: “The Codes and Precepts for Disciples in Serving Their Masters”

8. The Libationer
The Itinerant Evangelist and the Parish Master
The Parish System
The Libationer and Spirit Revelation
The Libationer as Judge
The Libationer as Pastor
Petitions
Rules for Submitting Petitions
Writing the Petition
How to Submit a Petition
Types of Petition
How to Draw a Talisman
Pledge Offerings
Rituals for the Dead

Epilogue
Bibliography
Index


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