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Transcript of Taoism
(Schipper and Verellen (2004).)
Parallels to Scripture
Taoism, or Daoism as it is also known, originally began sometime around the 4th or 5th Centuries B.C.
Taoism was said to be started by Laozi, a Chinese philosopher whose very existence is debated by many.
Taoism is thought by many to be "existing before time itself", and "a form from which all life emerged".
The teachings of can be confusing to some, as they show that "the Tao" (or perfect harmony" changes from person to person.
One idea Taoism puts forth is that nothing is owned, but merely passed on by previous generations.
Another key aspect of Taoism is that all of a person's actions should be a balance of benefiting one's mind, body, and spirit, and that these are not to be done to a set schedule.
A large factor that plays into Taoist life is the many symbols of Taoism, the primary symbol being the Yin Yang.
The Yin Yang represents how two different things such as man and nature, can live in harmony with each other and coexist.
These symbols can be found throughout temples, on flags, and on clerical robes.
Other symbols of Taoism include the dragon and phoenix, which can be used to demonstrate good fortune and long life
There are many different gods of Taoism who are worshiped by various different sects of Taoism.
The primary god worshiped by nearly all sects of Taoism is Yu-huang. He is the god to whom all other gods must report, and he provides justice to the gods accordingly to all situations.
Other gods are less imporant than Yu-Huang, however these gods play an impact in aspects of life such as purity, good and bad fortune, and youth
Taoism is immensely popular in China and Taiwan.
Taoism is is separated into two main sects in China. These being Zhenyi and Quanzhen.
Today people who practice Taoism try to get involved in environmental things. They believe that harmony can be achieved between humans and nature.
Spread of Taoism
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“Taoism.” BBC Religions. BBC, 2014. Web. 17 Jan. 2014.
“Taoism.” Patheos Library. Avalon Consulting, LLC, 2008. Web. 17 Jan. 2014.
“Turning Points in the Religion’s Development.” The Ways of the Tao. n.p., n.d. Web. 17 Jan. 2014.
“Taoism Today.” A Sip of Taoism for the Western Tongue. n.p., n.d. Web. 17 Jan. 2014.
When Taoism was first formed, it was most widely accepted by the more wealthy of China, but certain elements, such as witchcraft quickly spread to the lower class.
Taoism was for the most part contained to China, until the Ming Dynasty (1300-1600), when it began to spread to eastern India, and towards Korea and Japan.
The spread of Taoism can be difficult to judge because as different emperors replaced old ones, new religions weakened or grew stronger.
The main purpose that is served in Taoist rituals is to achieve perfect order or harmony with one's self, those around them, and with nature.
Many of these rituals include martial arts as an exercise, and sacrifices in the form of setting out food for deceased ancestors.
Holidays are also a ritual in Taoist society. A large part of these holidays include parades that consist dragons, lions, and other religious figures.
The most prominent and influential all Taoist texts is known as the Tao Te Ching.
The Tao Te Ching was written by Laozi, who founded Taoism, but the date of its writing is unknown.
This book mostly consists of the nature of Tao, and how someone can best achieve it.
Many other texts consist of different aspects of Taoism, but the Tao Te Ching remains the centerpiece of all texts.
316 A.D - Ge Hong
960 A.D - Huizong
1406 A.D - Emperor Zhu Di
Christianity teaches that man was created by God. In contrast, Taoism teaches that man was created by a nondescript being with no moral distinctions.
Christianity teaches that Christ shed His own blood (1 Corinthians 15:3) in compensation for man's sin, but Taoism eliminates the need for such an act to occur.
In Christianity, God is seen as a supernatural being. In Taoism, Tao is "a flow of energy".
God is seen has a force that one must harmonize with.
By: Tom Harkins, Brock Stoltzfus, Eric Frymyer, and Emily Ley
(1 Corinthians 15:3)