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The Encyclopedia of Taoism 2 volumes (review)

The Encyclopedia of Taoism 2 volumes (review) 366 ChinaReviewInternational:Vol.17,No.3,2010 4. StephenR.MacKinnon,Wuhan, 1938: War, Refugees, and the Making of Modern China (Berkeley:UniversityofCaliforniaPress,2007). 5. EdwardL.Dreyer,China at War, 1901­1949(London:LongmanGroupLimited,1995), pp. 306­311. FabrizioPregadio,editor.TheEncyclopedia of Taoism,2volumes.London: Routledge,2008.1551pp.Hardcover$315.00,isbn978-0-700-71200-7. E-book$315.00,isbn978-0-203-69548-7. Writtenoveradozenyears,theEncyclopedia of TaoismwaseditedbyFabrizio Pregadiointoamammothtwo-volumesetthatstandsasavaluableadditionto scholarshiponDaoism.Forty-sixauthorscontributed841entries,ninetyillustrations,andtwenty-eighttablesonawidevarietyofissuespertainingtoDaoism. ThemajorityoftheEncyclopediaconsistsofone-to-five-pagealphabetizedentries thatcontaindetailedtreatmentsofawiderangeofDaoistideas,people,texts, history,andterms.TofacilitatenegotiatingtheEncyclopedia,Pregadioprovidesa useful"SynopticTableofContents"thatorganizesthecontentsintofoursections. Firstistheextensive,informative,andapproachable"Overview"section, whichlistssixty-nineentries.Subsectionsincludebriefintroductionstothe conceptofDaoism,lineageissues,scriptures,cosmology,spiritbeings,sacredsites, viewsofhumanbeingsandhumansociety,organizations,religiouspracticesand experiences,DaoismandChinesethought,DaoismandChinesesocietyand culture,andDaoismoutsideofChina.The"Overview"sectionof191pagesis separatefromthe1,112pagesdevotedtothetext'smainentries. ToprovideasenseofthescopeofPregadio'sproject,the"TaoistUniverse" sectionlists288entriescoveringtermsandideasrelatedtodoctrine,transcendence,Daoistthought,cosmologicalimagery,deities,immortals,hagiographical texts,internalcomponentsofhumans,ethics,temples,sacredmountains,and Daoism'sexpansivetextualcorpora.The"History"sectionlists246entriesabout themajorgroupsofpeople,movements,individuals,texts,andkeytermsassociatedwitheachdynasty.The"ReligiousPracticeandExperience"sectionlists238 entriesthatdiscussnourishinglife,meditation,alchemy,ritual,Daoismand Buddhism,miscellaneoustermsrelatedtoreligiousidesandpractices,andDaoist associationsinChinaandJapan. Thetext'sendmatterconsistsofavarietyofusefulappendices:acompilation ofreferenceworksforeachmajorperiodandsubjectaddressedinthetext,a © 2012 by University of Hawai`i Press Reviews 367 dynasticchronology,pinyinconversioncharts,DaoistCanonconcordances,a 202-pagecomprehensiveinternationalbibliography,andanindexwithmorethan fivethousandentries.Thetableofcontents,whichgroupsentrieshistoricallyand thematically,andthemainbodyofentrieswillbemostusefulforspecialistsand graduatestudentsbecausetheyarealphabetizedbypinyinChinesespellings,1but thelengthyindexissignificantlymoreuser-friendlyifthepreciseChinesetermor textnamelistedinthebodyofentriesisunknown. TherearetwoweaknesseswiththeEncyclopedia:limitedscopewithinentries andlackofanalysisofcriticalterms.Althoughtherangeofentriesinthistextis impressive,thereislittleattempttopresentdemographicdata,briefcomprehensivehistories,orathoroughdescriptionformanyoftheentriesabout,forexample, qi,sacredplaces,temples,ritualtools,orissuesrelatedtoDaoistlife.Infact, discussionofcontemporarylivedDaoismisrare.Thisisareflectionofthelength limitsimposedbysuchaprojectbutalsothetext'sstrongsino-philologicalfocus, whichfollowsthetrajectoryofthelargerfieldofDaoiststudiesinthatitpredominatelycontainstext-based,canonicaldescriptionswithlittleanalysisoranthropologicalorsociologicalinformation.Furthermore,thereislittleofthewealthof materialpublishedsince2000,especiallyfromoutsideEuropeandNorthAmerica. Themorecrucialissueathandisthelackofcriticalreflectionofaccepted definitionsofkeyterms--whichdonotnecessarilyreflectChineseasmuchas Westernideas.AsevidencedthroughouttheEncyclopedia,sino-philologistsare particularlyadeptatanalyzinghowatermisusedthroughoutarangeofChinese texts,butthispracticeoftenstopsshortofrecognizingthatthetranslationsof thesetermsarecriticalforcomparativeandnonspecialiststudiesaswell.Careful attentiontotheirtranslatedimplicationswillshapehowpeopleunderstandthe tradition. TheEncyclopedia'stranslationsarecontentiousattimes,andsomecontributorsrelyonearlymissionary-createdtranslationsofterms--forexamplegui, whichistranslatedthroughoutthetextas"demon"ratherthanthemoreaccurate "ghost,""specter,"or"earthlyspirit."Theresultingtermfordiscussionsofgui becomes"demonology"(p.63,forexample),andrelatedtermsincludecalling Daoistinitiates"demonsoldiers"(p.459,forexample).Thispractice,withouta doubt,contributestotherangeofmisunderstandingsofDaoismthatarelamented byPregadiointheintroduction(p.xiii). Astechnicaltermsalsousedinreligiousstudiesandtheology,"demon"and "demonology"havelongsemantichistories--especiallyincultureswhereChristianityhashistoricallybeenprominent--andhavestronglynegativemoralconnotations,whicharenotpresentinmostDaoistusesofthetermgui.Throughout Daoism,thetermguiisusedinmanydistinctwaysandcanrefertohelpful, benign,and/orharmfulspiritbeings. Guiisalsoincludedwithintermsthatdescribethemoreephemeralaspectsof thehumanbody:theformsofhun andpo,whichrefertoheavenly(yangqi) 368 ChinaReviewInternational:Vol.17,No.3,2010 andearthly(yinqi)"souls,"respectively--andyetanotherexampleofproblematic termtranslation.Daoists'claimsthatpeoplehaveguiwithintheirbodieshave nothingtodowithpossessionbydemons,whichwouldbealogicalimplication here.Infact,theauthoroftheentryonthehunandpowrites,"Theyare,moreover,tobeconsideredtheepitomeofthespiritual(shen)andthedemonic(gui): thehunrepresentsspirit,consciousness,andintelligence,whereastheporepresentsphysicalnature,bodilystrength,andmovement"(p.521).Onemustquestion howthe"demonic"issupposedtoequatewiththenatural,thephysical,andthe bodyinthisreligioustraditionthatoftenexplainsthesethingsinratherpositive terms. ThisexampleillustrateshowvarioustermsintheEncyclopediarunafoulof WayneProudfoot's2admonitionagainst"descriptivereductionism"inwhicha termfromoneculture(inthiscase,theChristianideaofdemon)isborrowedto translateanotherculture'sterm(theChinesegui)insuchawaythatcausesgross misunderstandingofthetranslatedterm.Thesetwotermsarenotequivalent,and toconflatethemcausesadditionalconfusionabouttherealityofDaoistthought andpractice. Asimilartermis"hell,"whichconspicuouslyisnotprovidedwithaChinese characterinthetext,indicatingthatthereisnotone--anideasupportedbythe entrydevotedtothistopic(pp.69­71).Whymustasinglepejorativetermbeused atall,whenitclearlyreplacestheChineseideasofabureaucraticorevenparadisiacalunderworldwithaDantesquevisionofpunishmentsuchasthatrelatedonly totheChineseconceptofthediyu(earthprison)? Thesignificantmisunderstandingstowhichuncriticaltranslationsof"demon" and"hell"canincludeassumptionsthatDaoistritualistsarepossessedbyevil demonsandworktoengageinnefariousactivitieswiththeseentities.Thisconclusionrepresentstheveryantithesisofeverythingthatisconsideredgoodandright amongfollowersofthereligionofthemissionarieswhointroducedDaoismtothe WestandwhosereligiousideasareinfusedthroughoutWesterncultures.Ifa majorgoalofthisworkistothwartmisunderstandingssuchasthese,thencritical reflectiononsuchtermsandideatranslations--andmovementsbeyondtextbasedresearchtobuildmoreawarenessofanddialoguewithotherestablished disciplinesofinquirythatutilizerelatedcomparativecriticalterms--wouldbe de rigueur. Althoughthissystemictranslationissueisimportanttoaddress,Icontend thatoveralltheEncyclopediahasanunsurpassedscopeandexcellentintroductions toawidevarietyofkeyideas,terms,texts,practices,people,groups,history,and placesthatareimportanttounderstandingDaoistreligion.Thevastarrayof informationthathasbeencompiledintoasinglesourceisremarkableandincludes amplereferencesandresourcesforfurtherreadingandresearch.Thecollection supplementsotherrecentreferenceworksonDaoismfromtheperspectiveofkey termsandideasratherthanonlytextsorbroadhistoricalexaminations,and,thus, Reviews 369 itdramaticallyexpandstherangeofreadilyaccessibleinformationavailablein English.Owingtothelackofcomparativecategoriesandanorganizationbasedon Chinesenamesandterms,theEncyclopediawillbelessusefultootherscholarsof religionandChina;however,thetextisaverypracticalresourceforspecialistsor forsomeonelookingupthemeaningandsignificanceofatechnicalterm.Ultimately,thisworkisanimportantadditiontothecorpusofresearchmaterialson Daoismforexperiencedandburgeoningscholarsalike. ShawnArthur Shawn Arthur is an assistant professor of religion, specializing in the study of Daoism, diet, and the body. NOTES 1. Surprisingly,thetitleoftheEncyclopediaandsomeoftheinternalsectionheadings utilizetheoutdatedWade-Gilestransliterationmethodtowrite"Taoism,"whiletheremainderof thetextemploysthepinyin"Daoism." 2. WayneProudfoot,Religious Experience(Berkeley:UniversityofCaliforniaPress,1985), pp.190­199. SergeyRadchenko.Two Suns in the Heavens: The Sino-Soviet Struggle for Supremacy, 1962­1967.Stanford,CA:StanfordUniversityPress,2009. 315 pp.Hardcover$65.00,isbn978-0-804-75879-6. TheSino-Sovietsplitinthelate1950sandthe1960swasoneofthemostimportant eventsintheColdWar.Itcrackedthesocialistblocandshiftedtheglobalbalance ofthepower.Nevertheless,thesubjecthasbeenpoorlyunderstood.Thescholarshipismurkyevenonthequestionofwhathappened,largelyowingtothelackof primarysources.ScholarshavedebatedthenatureoftheSino-Sovietsplitfor decadesastheywrestlewiththequestionofwhethertheSino-Sovietsplitwasa quarreloverideologyoraconflictofnationalinterests.Thoughthedebatecontinues,Radchenkoclaimsneithertoprovideanultimateanswernortooffera radicalnewinterpretationontheissue.Hisgoalismodest:Withnewlyaccessible socialistblocarchives,heintendstotakeacloserlookatthecourseofthesplit, andthengoalittlefurthertoexplainwhytheSovietandChineseleadersfailedto understandeachotherbyexploringculturalstereotypesandracismrootedinthe Sino-Sovietrelations. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png China Review International University of Hawai'I Press

The Encyclopedia of Taoism 2 volumes (review)

China Review International , Volume 17 (3) – Jun 15, 2010

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366 ChinaReviewInternational:Vol.17,No.3,2010 4. StephenR.MacKinnon,Wuhan, 1938: War, Refugees, and the Making of Modern China (Berkeley:UniversityofCaliforniaPress,2007). 5. EdwardL.Dreyer,China at War, 1901­1949(London:LongmanGroupLimited,1995), pp. 306­311. FabrizioPregadio,editor.TheEncyclopedia of Taoism,2volumes.London: Routledge,2008.1551pp.Hardcover$315.00,isbn978-0-700-71200-7. E-book$315.00,isbn978-0-203-69548-7. Writtenoveradozenyears,theEncyclopedia of TaoismwaseditedbyFabrizio Pregadiointoamammothtwo-volumesetthatstandsasavaluableadditionto scholarshiponDaoism.Forty-sixauthorscontributed841entries,ninetyillustrations,andtwenty-eighttablesonawidevarietyofissuespertainingtoDaoism. ThemajorityoftheEncyclopediaconsistsofone-to-five-pagealphabetizedentries thatcontaindetailedtreatmentsofawiderangeofDaoistideas,people,texts, history,andterms.TofacilitatenegotiatingtheEncyclopedia,Pregadioprovidesa useful"SynopticTableofContents"thatorganizesthecontentsintofoursections. Firstistheextensive,informative,andapproachable"Overview"section, whichlistssixty-nineentries.Subsectionsincludebriefintroductionstothe conceptofDaoism,lineageissues,scriptures,cosmology,spiritbeings,sacredsites, viewsofhumanbeingsandhumansociety,organizations,religiouspracticesand experiences,DaoismandChinesethought,DaoismandChinesesocietyand culture,andDaoismoutsideofChina.The"Overview"sectionof191pagesis separatefromthe1,112pagesdevotedtothetext'smainentries. ToprovideasenseofthescopeofPregadio'sproject,the"TaoistUniverse" sectionlists288entriescoveringtermsandideasrelatedtodoctrine,transcendence,Daoistthought,cosmologicalimagery,deities,immortals,hagiographical texts,internalcomponentsofhumans,ethics,temples,sacredmountains,and Daoism'sexpansivetextualcorpora.The"History"sectionlists246entriesabout themajorgroupsofpeople,movements,individuals,texts,andkeytermsassociatedwitheachdynasty.The"ReligiousPracticeandExperience"sectionlists238 entriesthatdiscussnourishinglife,meditation,alchemy,ritual,Daoismand Buddhism,miscellaneoustermsrelatedtoreligiousidesandpractices,andDaoist associationsinChinaandJapan. Thetext'sendmatterconsistsofavarietyofusefulappendices:acompilation ofreferenceworksforeachmajorperiodandsubjectaddressedinthetext,a © 2012 by University of Hawai`i Press Reviews 367 dynasticchronology,pinyinconversioncharts,DaoistCanonconcordances,a 202-pagecomprehensiveinternationalbibliography,andanindexwithmorethan fivethousandentries.Thetableofcontents,whichgroupsentrieshistoricallyand thematically,andthemainbodyofentrieswillbemostusefulforspecialistsand graduatestudentsbecausetheyarealphabetizedbypinyinChinesespellings,1but thelengthyindexissignificantlymoreuser-friendlyifthepreciseChinesetermor textnamelistedinthebodyofentriesisunknown. TherearetwoweaknesseswiththeEncyclopedia:limitedscopewithinentries andlackofanalysisofcriticalterms.Althoughtherangeofentriesinthistextis impressive,thereislittleattempttopresentdemographicdata,briefcomprehensivehistories,orathoroughdescriptionformanyoftheentriesabout,forexample, qi,sacredplaces,temples,ritualtools,orissuesrelatedtoDaoistlife.Infact, discussionofcontemporarylivedDaoismisrare.Thisisareflectionofthelength limitsimposedbysuchaprojectbutalsothetext'sstrongsino-philologicalfocus, whichfollowsthetrajectoryofthelargerfieldofDaoiststudiesinthatitpredominatelycontainstext-based,canonicaldescriptionswithlittleanalysisoranthropologicalorsociologicalinformation.Furthermore,thereislittleofthewealthof materialpublishedsince2000,especiallyfromoutsideEuropeandNorthAmerica. Themorecrucialissueathandisthelackofcriticalreflectionofaccepted definitionsofkeyterms--whichdonotnecessarilyreflectChineseasmuchas Westernideas.AsevidencedthroughouttheEncyclopedia,sino-philologistsare particularlyadeptatanalyzinghowatermisusedthroughoutarangeofChinese texts,butthispracticeoftenstopsshortofrecognizingthatthetranslationsof thesetermsarecriticalforcomparativeandnonspecialiststudiesaswell.Careful attentiontotheirtranslatedimplicationswillshapehowpeopleunderstandthe tradition. TheEncyclopedia'stranslationsarecontentiousattimes,andsomecontributorsrelyonearlymissionary-createdtranslationsofterms--forexamplegui, whichistranslatedthroughoutthetextas"demon"ratherthanthemoreaccurate "ghost,""specter,"or"earthlyspirit."Theresultingtermfordiscussionsofgui becomes"demonology"(p.63,forexample),andrelatedtermsincludecalling Daoistinitiates"demonsoldiers"(p.459,forexample).Thispractice,withouta doubt,contributestotherangeofmisunderstandingsofDaoismthatarelamented byPregadiointheintroduction(p.xiii). Astechnicaltermsalsousedinreligiousstudiesandtheology,"demon"and "demonology"havelongsemantichistories--especiallyincultureswhereChristianityhashistoricallybeenprominent--andhavestronglynegativemoralconnotations,whicharenotpresentinmostDaoistusesofthetermgui.Throughout Daoism,thetermguiisusedinmanydistinctwaysandcanrefertohelpful, benign,and/orharmfulspiritbeings. Guiisalsoincludedwithintermsthatdescribethemoreephemeralaspectsof thehumanbody:theformsofhun andpo,whichrefertoheavenly(yangqi) 368 ChinaReviewInternational:Vol.17,No.3,2010 andearthly(yinqi)"souls,"respectively--andyetanotherexampleofproblematic termtranslation.Daoists'claimsthatpeoplehaveguiwithintheirbodieshave nothingtodowithpossessionbydemons,whichwouldbealogicalimplication here.Infact,theauthoroftheentryonthehunandpowrites,"Theyare,moreover,tobeconsideredtheepitomeofthespiritual(shen)andthedemonic(gui): thehunrepresentsspirit,consciousness,andintelligence,whereastheporepresentsphysicalnature,bodilystrength,andmovement"(p.521).Onemustquestion howthe"demonic"issupposedtoequatewiththenatural,thephysical,andthe bodyinthisreligioustraditionthatoftenexplainsthesethingsinratherpositive terms. ThisexampleillustrateshowvarioustermsintheEncyclopediarunafoulof WayneProudfoot's2admonitionagainst"descriptivereductionism"inwhicha termfromoneculture(inthiscase,theChristianideaofdemon)isborrowedto translateanotherculture'sterm(theChinesegui)insuchawaythatcausesgross misunderstandingofthetranslatedterm.Thesetwotermsarenotequivalent,and toconflatethemcausesadditionalconfusionabouttherealityofDaoistthought andpractice. Asimilartermis"hell,"whichconspicuouslyisnotprovidedwithaChinese characterinthetext,indicatingthatthereisnotone--anideasupportedbythe entrydevotedtothistopic(pp.69­71).Whymustasinglepejorativetermbeused atall,whenitclearlyreplacestheChineseideasofabureaucraticorevenparadisiacalunderworldwithaDantesquevisionofpunishmentsuchasthatrelatedonly totheChineseconceptofthediyu(earthprison)? Thesignificantmisunderstandingstowhichuncriticaltranslationsof"demon" and"hell"canincludeassumptionsthatDaoistritualistsarepossessedbyevil demonsandworktoengageinnefariousactivitieswiththeseentities.Thisconclusionrepresentstheveryantithesisofeverythingthatisconsideredgoodandright amongfollowersofthereligionofthemissionarieswhointroducedDaoismtothe WestandwhosereligiousideasareinfusedthroughoutWesterncultures.Ifa majorgoalofthisworkistothwartmisunderstandingssuchasthese,thencritical reflectiononsuchtermsandideatranslations--andmovementsbeyondtextbasedresearchtobuildmoreawarenessofanddialoguewithotherestablished disciplinesofinquirythatutilizerelatedcomparativecriticalterms--wouldbe de rigueur. Althoughthissystemictranslationissueisimportanttoaddress,Icontend thatoveralltheEncyclopediahasanunsurpassedscopeandexcellentintroductions toawidevarietyofkeyideas,terms,texts,practices,people,groups,history,and placesthatareimportanttounderstandingDaoistreligion.Thevastarrayof informationthathasbeencompiledintoasinglesourceisremarkableandincludes amplereferencesandresourcesforfurtherreadingandresearch.Thecollection supplementsotherrecentreferenceworksonDaoismfromtheperspectiveofkey termsandideasratherthanonlytextsorbroadhistoricalexaminations,and,thus, Reviews 369 itdramaticallyexpandstherangeofreadilyaccessibleinformationavailablein English.Owingtothelackofcomparativecategoriesandanorganizationbasedon Chinesenamesandterms,theEncyclopediawillbelessusefultootherscholarsof religionandChina;however,thetextisaverypracticalresourceforspecialistsor forsomeonelookingupthemeaningandsignificanceofatechnicalterm.Ultimately,thisworkisanimportantadditiontothecorpusofresearchmaterialson Daoismforexperiencedandburgeoningscholarsalike. ShawnArthur Shawn Arthur is an assistant professor of religion, specializing in the study of Daoism, diet, and the body. NOTES 1. Surprisingly,thetitleoftheEncyclopediaandsomeoftheinternalsectionheadings utilizetheoutdatedWade-Gilestransliterationmethodtowrite"Taoism,"whiletheremainderof thetextemploysthepinyin"Daoism." 2. WayneProudfoot,Religious Experience(Berkeley:UniversityofCaliforniaPress,1985), pp.190­199. SergeyRadchenko.Two Suns in the Heavens: The Sino-Soviet Struggle for Supremacy, 1962­1967.Stanford,CA:StanfordUniversityPress,2009. 315 pp.Hardcover$65.00,isbn978-0-804-75879-6. TheSino-Sovietsplitinthelate1950sandthe1960swasoneofthemostimportant eventsintheColdWar.Itcrackedthesocialistblocandshiftedtheglobalbalance ofthepower.Nevertheless,thesubjecthasbeenpoorlyunderstood.Thescholarshipismurkyevenonthequestionofwhathappened,largelyowingtothelackof primarysources.ScholarshavedebatedthenatureoftheSino-Sovietsplitfor decadesastheywrestlewiththequestionofwhethertheSino-Sovietsplitwasa quarreloverideologyoraconflictofnationalinterests.Thoughthedebatecontinues,Radchenkoclaimsneithertoprovideanultimateanswernortooffera radicalnewinterpretationontheissue.Hisgoalismodest:Withnewlyaccessible socialistblocarchives,heintendstotakeacloserlookatthecourseofthesplit, andthengoalittlefurthertoexplainwhytheSovietandChineseleadersfailedto understandeachotherbyexploringculturalstereotypesandracismrootedinthe Sino-Sovietrelations.

Journal

China Review InternationalUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Jun 15, 2010

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