The Daoist Difference: Alternatives to Imperial Power and Visions of a Unified Civilisation.

Submitted by James Miller on Mon, 05/14/2012 - 11:44
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TitleThe Daoist Difference: Alternatives to Imperial Power and Visions of a Unified Civilisation.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsDean, K.
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Anthropology
Pagination128 - 141
Date Published2012/04//
ISBN Number14442213
KeywordsChina, Civilization, Cosmology, CULTS, Daoism, Ritual, Taoism

The issue of the unity of Chinese culture in the late imperial age has been the subject of much recent debate. This paper questions the imperial discursive presumption of unity as a continuum of cosmological power, flowing through the emperor to every part of the Chinese imperium. Alternative notions of cosmological power can be found in some Daoist movements, where multiple sources of cosmological power were considered to be within reach, with proper ritual training and access to esoteric texts and talismans. Popular Chinese religious practice appears to embrace even more alternatives, as there is no contradiction to multiple manifestations of a deity, and seemingly mutually exclusive liturgical frameworks coexist within the same ritual. The paper examines how Daoist and popular cult ‘technologies of time’ move beyond imperial boundaries in a movement of Maussian civilisational exchange. [ABSTRACT FROM PUBLISHER]Copyright of Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology is the property of Routledge and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)