China Review International: Vol. 3, No. 2, Fall 2006 Russell Kirkland. Taoism: The Enduring Tradition. New York and London: Routledge, 2004. xxii, 282 pp. Paperback 9.95, isbn 045263220. Cloth 50.00, isbn 04526322. Taoism: The Enduring Tradition is a provocative reinterpretation of the diverse ideas and practices called Daoism. Arguing that Chinese and Western interpreters have radically misconstrued the Daoist tradition, Russell Kirkland reconstructs its history and import in this innovative, yet at times overly polemical, work. It is a valuable introduction to the Daoist tradition, particularly for what has been dismissed as "religious Daoism" (Daojiao), as well as current research and controversies concerning Daoism's significance. In chapter , Kirkland argues that Daoism is in need of being internally elucidated according to its own criteria. It should be: () contextually interpreted as a Chinese phenomenon, (2) based on a more complete interpretation of the full range of Daoist texts of all tendencies and periods without excluding some a priori, and (3) engaged as a living and diverse tradition and form of life. Thus, Daoism needs to be conceptualized according to the self-interpretation of Daoists rather than Chinese and Western critiques or faddish adaptations. For Kirkland, belonging to a Daoist
China Review International – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Jan 24, 2007
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