A Study of the "Central Scripture of Laozi" ("Laozi zhongjing")

Submitted by James Miller on Sun, 12/04/2011 - 10:40
James Miller's picture
TitleA Study of the "Central Scripture of Laozi" ("Laozi zhongjing")
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsIliouchine, A.
Academic DepartmentProQuest Dissertations and Theses
Date Published2011
PublisherMcGill University (Canada)
Place PublishedCanada
ISBN Number9780494747995
KeywordsAsian literature, Religion

This thesis is a study of the Laozi zhongjing , an early medieval Chinese text, preserved in the Daoist Canon (Daozang ) in two versions. In the first chapter, I compare the extant versions, inquiring into the relationship between them, and then establish the interval for the text's possible dates of composition. In the second chapter, I argue that the text was deliberately written as an esoteric scripture and analyze the techniques which the text uses to create an atmosphere of secrecy; I then suggest that the best way to approach an esoteric scripture consists in scrutinizing the text in order to unravel its understanding of the categories which underlie its lifeworld. The third chapter is an investigation of the practices described in the Laozi zhongjing ; I aim to demonstrate that their main goal, immortality, is consistent with the text's cosmological model and is achieved via nurturing the Red Child, a numen residing within one's body that is associated with one's self.