“Back to the Pristine” Identity Formation and Legitimation in Contemporary American Daoism
Posted on 16. Aug, 2010 by James Miller
|Title||“Back to the Pristine” Identity Formation and Legitimation in Contemporary American Daoism|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2010|
|Pagination||45 - 66|
This article, based on personal interviews and written surveys of dozens of Americans who self-identify as Daoist, asks how American Daoism provides meaning and shapes the identity of its American adherents. Using Wade Clark Roof’s theories about Baby Boomers’s spiritual quest as a search for meaning, this article shows how American Daoism can be both a component of and a resolution to this spiritual quest. It analyzes the strategies American Daoists use to assemble a stable identity, including constructing lineages based on personal transmission and positing the existence of an “inauthentic” Daoism, often identified as “folk” or “religious,” which serves to authen- ticate their perceived spiritual Daoism.