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Chinese Mysticism


Chang, K. C. Art, Myth, and Ritual: The Path to Political Authority in Ancient China. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1983. An eloquent exploration of the role of ancient shaman-priests in asserting text and symbol as political tools.

Csikszentmihàlyi, Mark. "Traditional Taxonomies and Revealed Texts in the Han." In Daoist Identity: History, Lineage, and Ritual, edited by Livia Kohn and Harold D. Roth, 81–101. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2002.

Dean, Kenneth. Taoist Ritual and Popular Cults of Southeastern China. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press 1993.

DeWoskin, Kenneth J. Doctors, Diviners, and Magicians in Ancient China: Biographies of Fang-shih. New York: Columbia University Press, 1983.

Harper, Donald. "Warring States Natural Philosophy and Occult Thought." Chapter 12 in The Cambridge History of Ancient China: From the Origins of Civilization to 221 B.C, edited by Michael Loewe and Edward L. Shaughnessy. Cambridge, U.K., and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999.

Harper, Donald. "Warring States, Qin, and Han Manuscripts Related to Natural Philosophy and the Occult." In New Sources of Early Chinese History: An Introduction to the Reading of Inscriptions and Manuscripts, edited by Edward L. Shaughnessy, 223–252. Berkeley: The Society for the Study of Early China and The Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California, 1997.

Keightley, David N. "Shang Divination and Metaphysics." Philosophy East & West 38, no. 4 (1988): 367–395.

Kohn, Livia. Early Chinese Mysticism: Philosophy and Soteriology in the Taoist Tradition. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1992. The first chapter gives a useful anthropological summary of recent discussions on the nature of mysticism.

Roth, Harold. Original Tao: Inward Training and the Foundations of Taoist Mysticism. New York: Columbia University Press, 1999.

——. "Psychology and Self-Cultivation in Early Taoistic Thought." Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 51 (1991): 599–650.

Sivin, Nathan. "State, Cosmos, and Body in the Last Three Centuries B.C." Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 55, no. 1 (1995): 5–37.

Strickmann, Michel. Mantras et mandarins: Le bouddhisme tantrique en Chine. Paris: Gallimard, 1996. Groundbreaking insights into the way Tantric-seeming tools of individual transcendence, demonifugic protection, and salvation wove through Daoism and Buddhism.

——. "The Mao Shan Revelations: Taoism and the Aristocracy." T'oung Pao 63 (1978): 1–64.

Wilhelm, Richard. The I Ching, or Book of Changes. 3rd ed. Translated by Cary F. Baynes. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1967.

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Chimaeras to ClusterChinese Mysticism - China's "mantic Way": Knowledge Through Insight And Technics, Self-cultivation As A Secular Pursuit: C. 400 B.c.e.–1600 C.e.