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  • ConferencesDaoism and Literature

New Compendium

In May 2021, the Chinese University of Hong Kong Press published the 3-volume Daozang Jiyao Tiyao 道藏輯要·提要 (Companion to the Essentials of the Daoist Canon), and an international conference was held on May 1–2 to celebrate this milestone in Daoist studies. The work is the result of a research project launched in 2006 by Monica Esposito of Kyoto University. With the funding from Kyoto University, the Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation of Taiwan, and the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science, Professor Esposito led an international team of over sixty scholars. However, due to her sudden passing in March 2011, the research project relocated from Japan to Hong Kong, where Lai Chi-Tim of the Chinese University of Hong Kong assumed the role of editor-in-chief, and the team of contributors grew to seventy-four.

Of the Companion’s roughly 2,000 pages, close to 1,500 are dedicated to analyzing each of the more than 300 texts comprising the Daozang jiyao. Its Jiaqing 嘉慶 edition has long been overshadowed by the Chongkan Daozang Jiyao 重刊道藏輯要 (Reprinted Essentials of the Daoist Canon), which was compiled at the Erxian’an 二仙庵 in Chengdu during the late Qing dynasty. The editors of the have meticulously compared these two editions, examining their content, authorship, historicity, and so forth, and eventually selected the Jiaqing version as the base text. [End Page 243]

Despite the long and difficult path this project has taken to reach completion, it has well fulfilled its primary objective, that is, to provide a detailed account of the textual history and content of each of the texts comprising the Daozang Jiyao and thereby reconstruct its history, paving, the editors hope, the way for a new critical edition. In addition to publishing, they have begun work on digitizing the texts of the Daozang Jiyao, and a translation team has been established to produce an English version of the Daozang Jiyao Tiyao. Taken together, these steps will greatly increase our understanding of the cultural and religious value and richness of Daoism in the Qing dynasty.

Myths, Stories, Novels, Poetry
14th International Conference on Daoist Studies

Zoom, Sofia University, Bulgaria, 20–25 May2021

Daoism in all its schools and dimensions has found vivid expression in literature—from the poetic format of the Daode jing through the fictional accounts in the Zhuangzi and the ecstatic poetry and mythology of the middle period to extensive novels and alchemical poetry of late imperial China, continuing actively today. Both the doctrinal and experiential expression of Daoism in various literary genres and the adaptation of Daoist imagery and vision by literary masters deserve a great deal further study than undertaken to date.

In a first effort to remedy this situation, the conference was held in honor of the late Professor Aleksandar Fedotov, a specialist of literature himself. It convened forty-five scholars and practitioners from many different countries. The keynote speakers offered presentations on three distinct literary dimensions. Lennert Gesterkamp (Utrecht University) explored “A Thousand Miles of Streams and Mountains: Daoist Self-Cultivation [End Page 244] in a Song Landscape Painting;” Zornica Kirkova (Staatsbibliothek Berlin) presented on “Daoism and Poetry in Early Medieval China”—both printed in this volume; and Brigitte Baptandier (CNRS Paris) discussed “The Lady of Linshui in Ming Novels.” Panels were chaired by Dessislava Damyanova, Livia Kohn, and Guo Wu. Recordings of the meetings are available on YouTube.
—Livia Kohn

International Conference on Global Laozegetics

Nankai University, Tianjin, October 23–24, 2021

Thirty-seven scholars, both online and in person, attended this important vent, mostly from China but also from countries like the US, Germany, Denmark, Indonesia, Slovakia, Israel, India, and Iran.

The conference topic of “Global Laozegetics” (Quanqiu Laoxue) is a concept proposed by the organizer Misha Tadd. It attempts to break down the disciplinary barriers of philosophy and translation studies to establish an inclusive framework that allows all the transformations of the Laozi text and its philosophy to be studied together. The basic assumption is that traditional commentaries and foreign language translations fundamentally belong to the same category, both being manifestations of unique readings of the text.

Rooted in this concept, the conference divided into three sections: Chinese...


Additional Information

pp. 243-250
Launched on MUSE
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