Taoism is the English name referring to a variety of related Chinese religious and philosophical traditions and concepts. These traditions influenced East Asia for over two thousand years and some have spread internationally.  Taoist propriety and ethics emphasize the Three Jewels of the Tao; namely, love, moderation, humility. Taoist thought focuses on wu wei ("non-action"), spontaneity, humanism, and emptiness.
The character Tao 道 (or Dao, depending on the Daoism-Taoism Romanization issue) means "path" or "way", but in Chinese religion and Chinese philosophy it has taken on more abstract meanings. Tao is rarely an object of worship, being treated more like the Central Asian concepts of atman and dharma. The word "Taoism" is used to translate different Chinese language terms. Daojiao (道教 "teachings/religion of the Dao") refers to Daoism as a religion. Daojia (道家 "school of the Dao") refers to the studies of scholars, or "philosophical" Daoism. However, most scholars have abandoned the dichotomy of "religious" and "philosophical" Daoism.
Most traditional Chinese Taoists are polytheistic. Nature and ancestor spirits are common in popular Taoism. Organized Taoism distinguishes its ritual activity from that of the folk religion, which some professional Taoists (Daoshi) view as debased. This sort of shamanism is eschewed for an emphasis on internal alchemy among the "elite" Taoists.Noahide teachings have significant problems with Taoism, but some scholars such as Rabbi Benamozegh have raised the possibility that Taoism could be modified to be compliant with Noahide law.
- Miller (2003), p. ix.
- LaFargue (1994) p. 283.
- Kirkland (2004) p. 2.
Pages in category "Taoism Religion"
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