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  • Conferences

Chinese Epitaphs

Seattle, May 19-20, 2017

A workshop on epitaphs in Chinese history was held in Seattle. A total of 13 internationally known China scholars participated. The conference volume, entitled An Anthology of Chinese Funerary Biographies, edited by Ping Yao, Patricia Buckley Ebrey, and Ellen Zhang, will be published by University of Washington Press.

—Ping Yao

Association for Asian Studies

Toronto, March 16-19, 2017

There were quite a few papers on Daoist presented at the AAS meeting in Toronto, spread over various panels. Thus, Jonathan Pettit spoke about "Sacred Geographies of Early Daoism" in a panel on mapping cosmic space; Dominic Steavu discussed "A Recipe for Immortality: 'Mushrooms' as Sacred Substance in Daoism" in a panel on the religious life of substances; Michael Naparstek presented on "Figuring on Salvation: A Daoist Scroll for Saving Souls in Jiajing's Court" as part of a panel oniiconography and hagiography.

In addition, an entire panel dedicated to Daoism was chaired by Gil Raz, with Stephen Bokenkamp as discussant. The topic was "Storied Stones: The Lived Religion of Daoist Communities." Papers included Gil Raz, "Local Daoism: The Community of the Northern Wei Dao-Buddhist Stelae;" Shinyi Chao, "The Cult of Wei Huacun during the Song-Yuan Dynasties;" and Richard G. Wang, "Tianfei Palace, Qingwei Lineage, and Local Society in Ming Tianjin." [End Page 239]

In addition, the SSCR held its meeting in conjunction with the conference, bringing together sinologists and Daoist specialists for up-to-date discussions.

Creativity and Diversity 11th International Conference on Daoist Studies

Nanterre, France, May 17-20, 2017

Close to 200 participants from over 20 different countries came together in Nanterre, an academic suburb of Paris, to discuss a large variety of topics related to Daoist studies. Keynote speakers were Brigitte Baptandier, Christine Mollier, and Vincent Goossaert, representing the continued strength and vitality of French sinology. Panels covered many different aspects of the tradition, from philosophy through self-cultivation, medicine, art, and literature, to anthropological studies. There were numerous practical workshops, several exhibits of art work, fabulous video presentations—notably Adeline Herrou's new documentary—a concert by Peter Firebrace, and—the greatest highlight—a video of and performance by the musical troupe of the Li Priests from northern Shanxi, invited and hosted by Stephen Jones. For more details of the program and to read some of the presentations, see

—Livia Kohn

Immortal Sisters

August 24-30, Phoenicia, New York

About eighty women came together at Menla, the spectacular Tibetan Buddhist retreat center in the scenic Catskill mountains in upstate New York, for five days of exploration, discussion, and experience. Organized by Sharon Smith, Marie Favorito, Renu Li, and Jamee Culbertson, the conference brought together Daoist scholars, qigong practitioners, meditation teachers, and feminist activists, including keynote speakers Eve Ensler and Julia Butterfly Hill. Scheduled fluidly from 7 am to 10 pm, the meeting provided ample opportunity for leaning, discussion, practice, and personal interaction. Creativity was encouraged in movement, dance, singing, and artistic expression; there was always a close connection to [End Page 240] nature as the deer stopped by during qigong sessions; and new information and understanding grew as over twenty presenters shared their vision. For more, see

—Livia Kohn

Fifth Congress Societas Medicinae Sinensis

Tutzing, Germany, October 6-8, 2017

Combining Bavarian folk culture, including several musical performances, and medical research, this meeting convened about 300 participants and 50 presenters discussing issues of Chinese medicine in the Western world. While most papers discussed medical issues, there were also several sessions on preventative methods and longevity practices, connecting to Daoist cultivation. In particular the panel featuring Li Hechun, Gudula Linck, Ute Engelhardt, und Patricia Krinninger focused on fundamental principles and Daoist ethical values as well as poetry on aging and nourishing the fetus in conjunction with recent epigenetic insights. For more details, see

—Eva Müller


Authority versus Authenticity 12th International Conference on Daoist Studies

Beijing, June 1-4, 2018

This year's theme is the relationship of inner truth in contrast (and conflict) with outer circumstances, an issue that pervades Daoist history and culture, since Daoists highly value naturalness and integrity that often crosses...


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pp. 239-242
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