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École française d'Extrême-Orient
Kitashirakawa bettô-chô 29, Sakyô-ku
606-8276 Kyoto
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〒606-8276 京都市左京区北白川別当町29

Anna Seidel Memorial Lecture 2016
05 APRIL 16
Anna Seidel Memorial Lecture 2016

Daoxue and Daojiao: the Ming Dynasty Double Orthodoxy
John Lagerwey (The Chinese University of Hong Kong )

April 5 , 2016  from 18:00

Kyoto University, Institute for Researches in Humanities,
Center for Informatics in East Asian Studies
Kitashirakawa Higashi-ogura-cho 47, Kyoto 〒606-8265
Language: English

Daoxue and Daojiao: The Ming Dynasty Double Orthodoxy

While most laypersons—and many China specialists—still think of China as a civilization with no religion of its own (Buddhism was imported), the reality is quite
different. Starting in the third century, and throughout three major indigenous
dynasties (Tang, Song, and Ming), Daoism was in fact the state religion.
Concretely, that meant that the “Son of Heaven” (the emperor) owed his
legitimacy (the Heavenly Mandate) to his link to a Daoist god. The talk will
cover the earlier dynasties quickly in order to focus on the Ming, whose
founder (r. 1368-98) was the last emperor to write a commentary on the Daodejing. His son, the Yongle emperor (r. 1403-1424), built two Forbidden Cities: one that is well-known, in Beijing; the other known only to specialists, on Mount Wudang in NW Hubei province. What
is the meaning of these two imperial acts? And how does understanding their
implications transform what we mean by the word “China”?


John Lagerwey
PhD Harvard (1975), in early classical Chinese literature. Member of the EFEO
1977-2000; professor of "Daoism and the History of Chinese Religions"
at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes 2000-2011; professor of Chinese studies
at the Chinese University of Hong Kong 2008-present. He is the author of Wu-shang
pi-yao, somme taoïste du VIe siècle
(1981), Taoist Ritual in Chinese
Society and History
(1987), China, a Religious State (2010), and
chief editor of an eight-volume series on the history of paradigm shifts in
Chinese religious and philosophical history (2008-15), as well as of two series
of ethnographic studies in Chinese (a total of 40 volumes, 1994-2016). His
primary subjects of concern have been the history and ethnography of Daoist
ritual, Daoism and imperial legitimacy, and the religious institutions and
practices of local society over the last two millennia.