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The Scripture on Great Peace: The Taiping jing and the Beginnings of Daoism (Daoist Classics) [Hardcover]

Barbara Hendrischke

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Book Description

9 Jan 2007 Daoist Classics (Book 3)
This first Western-language translation of one of the great books of the Daoist religious tradition, the "Taiping jing', or "Scripture on Great Peace," documents early Chinese medieval thought and lays the groundwork for a more complete understanding of Daoism's origins. Barbara Hendrischke, a leading expert on the Taiping jing in the West, has spent twenty-five years on this magisterial translation, which includes notes that contextualize the scripture's political and religious significance. Virtually unknown to scholars until the 1970s, the "Taiping jing" raises the hope for salvation in a practical manner by instructing men and women how to appease heaven and satisfy earth and thereby reverse the fate that thousands of years of human wrongdoing has brought about. The scripture stems from the beginnings of the Daoist religious movement, when ideas contained in the ancient Laoziwere spread with missionary fervor among the population at large. "The Taiping jing" demonstrates how early Chinese medieval thought arose from the breakdown of the old imperial order and replaced it with a vision of a new, more diverse and fair society that would integrate outsiders - in particular women and people of a non-Chinese background.

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"No Western scholar has given the Taiping jing the thorough, painstaking attention that Hendrischke has given it. For the last quarter-century, she has unquestionably been the West's leading expert on the subject. Hendrischke is not only the prime authority on the history and nature of the text itself, but also the prime authority on virtually all related historical materials and issues. Hendrischke draws on this vast knowledge throughout the book. Her arguments are remarkably compelling, the translations are unfailingly precise and expertly nuanced, and there are wonderful tidbits of enlightening new data with fascinating new implications on every page." - Russell Kirkland, author of Taoism: The Enduring Tradition"

About the Author

Barbara Hendrischke is Senior Research Fellow in the School of Modern Languages at the University of New South Wales. She is author of Wen-tzu - Ein Beitrag zur Problematik und zum Verstandnis eines taoistischen Textes and Taiping jing: The Origin and Transmission of the 'Scripture on General Welfare' - The history of an unofficial text.

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