Cover: The Paradox of Being: Truth, Identity, and Images in Daoism, from Harvard University PressCover: The Paradox of Being in HARDCOVER

Harvard-Yenching Institute Monograph Series 120

The Paradox of Being

Truth, Identity, and Images in Daoism

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Product Details


$75.00 • £60.95 • €67.50

ISBN 9780674241107

Publication Date: 08/06/2019


362 pages

6 x 9 inches

16 photos, 8 color illus.

Harvard University Asia Center > Harvard-Yenching Institute Monograph Series


  • List of Illustrations*
  • Acknowledgments
  • A Note to the Reader
  • Introduction
  • 1. Truth and Subjectivation
    • East–West Differentiation
    • The Chinese Self
    • The Daoist Self
  • 2. Truth and Knowledge
    • Truth, Knowledge, and Propositions
    • Propositions in Chinese Thought
    • Truth and Divination in China and the West
    • The Pursuit of Truth in Early Daoism
  • 3. The Concept of Zhen (真): True and Real
    • The True Self
    • Cosmologies of Substance
    • Early Daoist Discourses on Truth
    • Later Daoist Discourses on Truth
    • True Writings and True Writs
    • Translation Conventions
  • 4. Liturgical Symbols and Images
    • The Ritual Event
    • The Ritual Walk
    • The Absent Way and Daoist Temporality
    • Ritual Images
    • Ritual Symbols
    • The Romantic Concept of the Symbol
    • Real Images
    • Inwardness
    • Visualization
    • External Images
  • 5. Unity and Identity
    • Unity and Diversity in the One God
    • The “One-Source Paradigm”
    • The History of Taiyi
    • The History of Puhua Tianzun
    • The Iconography of Puhua Tianzun: Ti and Yong Forms
    • Entering the Way through Sincerity
    • Being One with the God
    • Ontology of Images
  • 6. Sincerity and Ascent to Heaven
    • The Ascent to Heaven in Present-Day Daoist Ritual
    • Submitting the Petition in the History of Daoism
    • Modern Versions of Submitting the Petition
    • The “Mode of Sincerity”
    • The Social Identity of a Daoist Priest
    • Outer and Inner Registers
    • External Representations of the Gods of the Registers
    • Being and Appearance
  • Closing Remarks
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
  • * Illustrations
    • Figures
      • 1. Chart of Cultivating True Being (Xiuzhen tu)
      • 2. True Writ of the Center
      • 3. The magic square and the arrangement of the Eight Trigrams according to the Writing of the Luo River (Luoshu)
      • 4. The Guideline of Returning to the Altar (Huitan gang)
      • 5. Diagram of Chen Rongsheng’s sacred area for the jiao liturgy
      • 6. Diagram of the journey to Heaven
      • 7. Puhua tianzun riding on a nine-headed phoenix
      • 8. Puhua tianzun as the Thunder Ancestor (Leizu)
      • 9. Summoning the Nine Numinous and the Three Essential Spirits from the body
      • 10. Chen Rongsheng impersonating Jiuku tianzun in the rite of Universal Salvation in Jiayi, Taiwan
      • 11. Zeng Chunshou and Lai Longfei performing the Announcement of the Jade Altar in Hunei, Taiwan
      • 12. The journey to heaven performed by Chen Rongsheng in Jiali, Taiwan
      • 13. Diagrams of the journey to heaven
      • 14. Liang Huaying performing a journey to heaven in Cangnan, Zhejiang
      • 15. The journey to heaven in Daozang biyao
      • 16. Register of the Generals of the Three Primes (Sanyuan jiangjun) from Taishang sanwu zhengyi mengwei lu
    • Plates
      • 1. The Great One (Taiyi)
      • 2. Jiuku tianzun in a hanging scroll by a painter from Quanzhou, Fujian
      • 3. Puhua tianzun in a hanging scroll by a painter from Quanzhou, Fujian
      • 4. Puhua tianzun emerging as the Lord of the Nine Heavens Transforming All (Jiutian puhua jun)
      • 5. Puhua tianzun at the center of the Thunder Department (Leibu)
      • 6. Numinous Official Wang (Wang Lingguan)
      • 7. “The Way is entered through sincerity.”
      • 8. The journey to heaven performed by Lai Longfei in Hunei, Taiwan

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