In this course, we will attempt to answer the question, "What is Daoism?" The bulk of the readings will consist of English translations of primary texts that have at one time or another been labeled as "Daoist," in order to sort out the different senses of the term, and consider what common features, if any, are shared by these influential texts. The course begins with the Laozi, the one text affirmed by virtually all "Daoist" traditions as foundational. The readings include several other "Daoist" texts, covering a period of roughly one thousand years, and will conclude with a survey of meditation and longevity techniques, practices which sometimes have no textual basis whatsoever. Drawing on various kinds of "Daoist" sources, we hope to answer the question that serves as the title of this course. No knowledge of Chinese is presumed. Graduate students may not enroll in this course.
Section 401 - LEC