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News of the Field / 225 Conferences Daoism: Tradition and Transition 9th International Conference on Daoist Studies Boston, May 29 – June 1, 2014 Held on the campus of Boston University, this conference had a strong focus on issues of Daoist thought (four panels on the Zhuangzi alone), but also addressed topics of ritual, history, military, cultivation, and more. An entire section offered workshops by leading qigong masters. The about 180 participants came from ten different countries, representing a wide variety of Daoist studies worldwide. Keynote speakers were Lai Chitim from Hong Kong and John Berthrong from Boston. The conference included a festive banquet as well as a film showing (Dennis Willmont, Return to the Mountain: A Taiji Journey). A major highlight was the presentation by a group of Daoists from Mount Kongtong about their home, life, and rituals, arranged for by Zhou Xuanyun and Julianne Baecker. Three roundtables discussed issues of Daoist practice, women’s alchemy, and ritual today, the latter featuring Daoist master Li Youkun from Keelung in Taiwan. Schedule and abstracts, as well as selected complete papers are available on The 10th International Conference will be held in Taiwan, January 2016. —Livia Kohn Luoyang Symposium on Laozi Culture 洛阳老子文化国际论坛 Luoyang & Laojun shan, September 18-22, 2014 Sponsors of this conference, led masterfully by Chen Guying, included the Chinese Academy of Social Science, Center for Daoist Studies at Peking University, Philosophy Department of Qinghua University, Laozi Study Associations of Henan Province and Luoyang City, as well as the Luoyang Center for Social Sciences. It assembled about 130 participants, mostly from China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, but also included invited 226 / Journal of Daoist Studies 8 (2015) guests from Japan, Korea, Europe, and the U.S. The discussion—both in plenary and panel sessions—focused on different aspects of Laozi’s thought: in relation to contemporary ethics, environmental issues, humanistic culture, traditional East Asian thought, Western-language renditions , and religious Daoist practices. After a visit to the Longmen Caves in Luoyang, the entire assemble moved to Mt. Laojun near the scenic town of Luanchuan, about three hours south of Luoyang. All took to buses and cable car to ascend, climbing the last hour to admire the pavilions reaching into the sky. The final session and concluding ceremony occurred under the gaze of a massive Laozi statue, a visible sign of the growing importance of Laozi’s thought and its continued close connection to religious veneration. —Livia Kohn 2014 Hong Kong Daoist Forum Hong Kong, October 4, 2014 Arranged by the Research Center for Daoist Culture of the Chinese University of Hong Kong in close cooperation with the Hong Kong Daoist Association, this forum was part of the celebration of the 65th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, which went on for several days afterwards. The forum convened Daoist groups from various locations—Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Guangzhou, Fujian, Singapore , and Malaysia—who all brought their altars, music, rituals, and martial arts, including boisterous lion dancers at the main banquet. Its academic portion, skillfully arranged and chaired by Lai Chitim, included presentations on different aspects of Daoism by leading professors from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the U.S., as well as by top Daoist officials, including leaders of the Chinese, Shanghai, Hunan, and Malaysian Daoist Associations. The overall consensus was that Daoism formed an essential part of traditional Chinese culture and had important contributions to make to the modern Chinese state as much as to world culture. For more, see —Livia Kohn News of the Field / 227 American Academy of Religions San Diego, November 20-25, 2014 The 2014 meetings of the American Academy of Religions included two panels organized by the Daoist Studies Group, plus a paper in a panel convened by the Chinese Religions Group. Both groups cooperated in convening an additional joint panel concerning the legacy of Tao Hongjing. Scholars from many different countries convened to discuss the papers. A recurring theme was the need to understand Daoist women , practice, lineages, and training in ways that attend to the profound influence of wider social and political contexts. The four papers constituting the panel, “Daoist Women...


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