Spreading the dao, managing mastership, and performing salvation: The life and alchemical teachings of Chen Zhixu
Posted on 16. Aug, 2010 by James Miller
|Title||Spreading the dao, managing mastership, and performing salvation: The life and alchemical teachings of Chen Zhixu|
|Year of Publication||2008|
|ISBN Number||0549442839, 9780549442837|
|Keywords||Biographies, History, Religious history|
This dissertation describes and interprets the biography and teachings of Chen Zhixu (1290-1343+), styled Shangyangzi, a Daoist master and sexual alchemist from south China. The dissertation describes his place within networks of patronage, and the pains he took to develop these networks. It pieces together an account of his sexual-alchemical practices, and situates this account within the fields of Chinese inner alchemy ( neidan ) and sexual cultivation. Secondarily, this dissertation offers new approaches to the reading of any Daoist figure or text. One new approach is to locate Daoists and their texts within economies of salvation (drawing on Pierre Bourdieu's sociology of culture); another is to study Daoists' use of secrecy as a strategy within such an environment. Finally, this general theoretical perspective emphasizing social conflict may be useful for the study of religious figures or texts from beyond Chen's world of pre-modern China.