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Early Daoist Scriptures (review)

Early Daoist Scriptures (review) Stephen R. Bokenkamp. Early Daoist Scriptures. Taoist Classics, vol. 1. Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London: University of California Press, 1997. xviii, 502 pp. Hardcover $50.00, ISBN 0­520­20322­4. This book is the first reliable introduction to the early period of religious Daoism, at least in a Western language. Until now, this field was the monopoly of Japanese scholars, who, in great detail and with painstaking care, have told the tale of the early Daoists.1 However, even if they had been translated, these studies would have been of limited use to the nonspecialist. They have their own, in many cases Buddhist-oriented, agenda and speak to their own audience, presupposing a layer of knowledge and interest not always identical with that of the Western student of Chinese religion. While Bokenkamp's book does not replace Maspero's enthusiastic account written in the 1930s, which became the starting point for all wider interest in the religion, it sets a new landmark. It puts all the old enthusiasm on a new footing, arrived at after decades of intensive, worldwide research. It also signifies the growth of "dao-ology" in the United States, to which the author of the book has greatly contributed through a range of http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png China Review International University of Hawai'I Press

Early Daoist Scriptures (review)

China Review International , Volume 6 (2) – Sep 1, 1999

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright by University of Hawaii Press
ISSN
1527-9367
Publisher site
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Abstract

Stephen R. Bokenkamp. Early Daoist Scriptures. Taoist Classics, vol. 1. Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London: University of California Press, 1997. xviii, 502 pp. Hardcover $50.00, ISBN 0­520­20322­4. This book is the first reliable introduction to the early period of religious Daoism, at least in a Western language. Until now, this field was the monopoly of Japanese scholars, who, in great detail and with painstaking care, have told the tale of the early Daoists.1 However, even if they had been translated, these studies would have been of limited use to the nonspecialist. They have their own, in many cases Buddhist-oriented, agenda and speak to their own audience, presupposing a layer of knowledge and interest not always identical with that of the Western student of Chinese religion. While Bokenkamp's book does not replace Maspero's enthusiastic account written in the 1930s, which became the starting point for all wider interest in the religion, it sets a new landmark. It puts all the old enthusiasm on a new footing, arrived at after decades of intensive, worldwide research. It also signifies the growth of "dao-ology" in the United States, to which the author of the book has greatly contributed through a range of

Journal

China Review InternationalUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Sep 1, 1999

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