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Ch 5: World Religion: Taoism

About This Chapter

Watch video lessons and take self-assessment quizzes to learn about the origins and doctrines of Taoism as well as its sacred texts and its influence in the world.

World Religion: Taoism - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Taoism is a religion founded in China, based on the teachings of Lao-tzu. Tao translates as 'path,' 'way' or 'principle.' In this chapter's lessons, experienced instructors will explain about Taoist concepts, such as the yin and yang, as well as the principle of wu-wei (action through inaction). We'll look at the origins of Taoism as a formal religion and learn about the religion's various sects and what they believe. By the end of this chapter, you should have an understanding of:

  • Taoism's origins and development
  • Religious texts
  • How salvation is achieved in Taoism
  • Taoism's ethical concepts and values
  • Taoism in Korea

Video Objective
The Origins of Taoism: History, the Uncarved Block and Tao-Te Ching You'll explore the beginnings and development of Taoism, including the concept of the 'uncarved block,' or the natural state of all beings, as well as the main text, Tao-Te Ching.
Taoism as 'The Way': Yin and Yang and the Wu-wei Concept Here, you'll learn about the First Principle of Taoism as well as examine the idea of yin and yang and the idea of wu-wei.
The Texts of Taoism: Tao-Te, Chuang-tzu and the Taoist Canon This lesson examines the various texts that set out the principles and practices of Taoism.
Taoism: Chang Lung and the Heavenly Masters In this lesson, we'll explore the origins of Taoism as a formal religion in China.
The Classic of Great Peace: The Taoist Doctrine of Salvation You'll learn about various Taoist scriptures that deal with life after death.
Taoist Alchemy: The Elixir of Mortality This lesson looks at the Taoist belief that physical immortality can be obtained by consuming various potions.
Taoist Sects: Heavenly Masters and the Perfect Truth Here, we'll get an idea about the many Taoist sects and what they teach.
Korean Taoism: History, Influence and Expansion We'll explore Taoism and its influence in Korea and other parts of the world.

8 Lessons in Chapter 5: World Religion: Taoism
The Origins of Taoism: History, the Uncarved Block & Tao-Te Ching

1. The Origins of Taoism: History, the Uncarved Block & Tao-Te Ching

This lesson will seek to explain the rather nebulous founding of Taoism. In doing so, it will explore the concepts of the Tao and the Pu, while also highlighting the role Lao-tzu played in the formation of this ancient Eastern philosophy.

Taoism as ''The Way'': Yin and Yang & the Wu-wei Concept

2. Taoism as ''The Way'': Yin and Yang & the Wu-wei Concept

This lesson will focus on several tenets of Taoism. It will explore the First Principle, the yin-yang classification, and the wu wei concept. It will also highlight the Tao Te Ching as one of the most prominent Taoist texts.

The Texts of Taoism: Tao-te Ching, Chuang-tzu & the Taoist Canon

3. The Texts of Taoism: Tao-te Ching, Chuang-tzu & the Taoist Canon

This lesson will explain the ancient philosophy of Taoism and its canon of scripture. In doing so, it will highlight the history and content of the Tao-te Ching and the Chuang-tzu, as well as the role of Lao-tzu.

Taoism: Chang Ling and the Heavenly Masters

4. Taoism: Chang Ling and the Heavenly Masters

This lesson will explain the development of Taoism as a philosophy and as a structured faith system. In doing so, it will highlight the concept of the Tao as well as the contributions of Lao-tzu, Chang Ling, and Chang Lu.

The Classic of Great Peace: The Taoist Doctrine of Salvation

5. The Classic of Great Peace: The Taoist Doctrine of Salvation

This lesson will explain the importance of the Classic of Great Peace in Taoist history. In doing so, it will highlight the origins of Taoism, the concept of the Tao and the decline of the Han Dynasty.

Taoist Alchemy: The Elixir of Immortality

6. Taoist Alchemy: The Elixir of Immortality

This lesson will seek to explain the link between ancient Taoism and alchemy. In doing so, it will define internal and external alchemy while also discussing the elixir of immortality.

Taoist Sects: Heavenly Masters and the Perfect Truth

7. Taoist Sects: Heavenly Masters and the Perfect Truth

This lesson will seek to explain the Taoist sects of the Heavenly Masters and the Perfect Truth. In doing so, it will highlight men like Lao-tzu and Chang Tao Ling while also exploring the concept of inner alchemy.

Korean Taoism: History, Influence & Expansion

8. Korean Taoism: History, Influence & Expansion

This lesson will focus on Taoism's influence in the country of Korea. In doing so, it will highlight its arrival from China and the phases of popularity and decline it went through. It will also discuss the concept of internal alchemy and the Elixir of Immortality.

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