Taoism’s Historical Origins and Leaders

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Taoism is an ancient Chinese religion, a religion of peace focused on universal balance. The religion itself, though generally surviving today, was almost entirely wiped out in ancient times. Taoism’s primary symbol is still visible on the global market in modern times, though it tends to carry somewhat different meanings then it necessarily did previously. An incredibly life-structure oriented religion, it has permeated through society and is more easily understood through analysis of Taoism’s historical origins and leaders, its types and beliefs, ethics, and the modern influences of Taoism on society. Taoism is one of the oldest religions in the world and its origins are rather mysterious. Formally there is no specifically known founder or date of foundation for Taoism; however, the individual accredited with the founding of Taoism “Began […] with the revelation of […] Lao Tzu (Taoism: The Origins of Taoism), which Buddhism. Taoism is a polytheistic religion with a wide variety of deities, and so Shamanism became an important part of the religion, as shamans were individuals’ connections to the different Gods of Taoism and protection from evil spirits; so in its initial structure a solid base of religious leaders formed, which would help the spread of the religion through education and role modeling (Hundoble). As for specific leaders of the religious movement, Lao-Tzu, an early philosopher and poet, is believed to have written the original founding principles of Taoism in the sixth century B.C., and as presented by King Shu Liu “of his work we have only the Tao-Teh-king [(the first Taoist literature)] which tradition attributed to him” (Liu 377). Zhao Daoling, another prominent Taoist leader, was the first of the Celestial M... ... middle of paper ... ...rgence 5.4 (1993): 539-544. Print. The Last Airbender. Dir. M. Night Shyamalan. Perf. Noah Ringer, Nicola Peltz, and Jackson Rathbone. Paramount Pictures, 2010. Film. Liu, Jiahe, and Dongfang Shao. “Early Buddhism and Taoism in China (A.D. 65-420).” Buddhist-Christian Studies 12 (1992): 35–41. JSTOR. Web. 7 Nov. 2013. Liu, King Shu. “THE ORIGIN OF TAOISM.” The Monist 27.3 (1917): 376–389. Print. Mulan. Dir. Tony Bancroft. Perf. Ming-Na Wen, Eddie Murphy, and Bradley Darryl Wong. Walt Disney, 1998. Film. “Taoism: Concepts within Taoism.” BBC: Religions. BBC. n. pag., 12 Nov. 2009. Web. 9 Nov. 2013. “Taoism: The Origins of Taoism.” BBC: Religions. BBC. n. pag. 12 Nov. 2009. Web. 9 Nov. 2013. “Taoism: Taoist Ethics.” BBC: Religions. BBC. n. pag. 12 Nov. 2009. Web. 11 Nov. 2013. “Taoism: What Is the Tao?” BBC: Religions. BBC. n. pag. 12 Nov. 2009. Web. 9 Nov. 2013.

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