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Topics in Taoism

The subject of our seminar this term will be the structure and contents of the Taoist canon (Daozang 道藏). We shall begin with a basic orientation to the history of Taoism in China and the history of the study of Taoism in the West. We will survey the history of the canon’s formation and read selected texts from the canon in English translation. Students will also be introduced to the use of specialised research tools for the study of Taoism such as dictionaries, concordances, indices and databases. There is a vast body of scholarship on Taoism in European and Asian languages. We can read and discuss only a fraction of that work in this seminar; students are encouraged to put together their own working bibliographies that reflect their particular interests.


Unit(s): 3.0 Level(s): Graduate Term(s): Fall Offered?: No Language?: No

James A. Benn

Professor | Director, McMaster University Centre for Buddhist Studies