Abstract

This article addresses the position of Ge Hong (283–343) in early medieval Daoism by provoking a reconsideration of earlier forms of Chinese religion. The article argues that Ge Hong’s greatest innovation was his bringing together two separate traditions of early Chinese religion, namely that of the xian (often translated as “immortal”) that I identify with early Daoism, and that of alchemy that somehow was related to the fangshi movement. The article examines the historical trajectory of these two traditions as Ge Hong received them by exploring two of his major works, the Baopuzi neipian and the Shenxian zhuan, and examines the ways in which he relates these two early traditions to each other. He does this by portraying and describing two kinds of xian, which I call “private” and “public.” The article shows that Ge Hong’s accomplishment had a deep and lasting impact of the future traditions of medieval Daoism.

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1941-5524
Pages
pp. 24-51
Launched on MUSE
2017-01-01
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.