China and Inner Asia

Organized Panel Session

2 - Sacred Geography: The Development of Daoism in the Region of Mount Wangwu

Saturday, July 7
12:10 PM - 1:40 PM
Location: Juniper, New Building

One of the most well-circulated stories about sacred sites in China is of Mount Wangwu, a Daoist site located in north China, in which the Yellow Emperor set an altar on the mountain peak to offer sacrifices to heaven in order to defeat a tyrant named Chiyou. While Mount Wangwu has been remaining an active participant in the discourse of Chinese mythology, a religious site is more than just a myth. This paper, therefore, examines the development of Daoism in the region of Mount Wangwu from a historical perspective. The first section of this paper covers the scope of the rise of Mount Wangwu as a sacred site, ranging from hagiographies of early eminent Daoists recorded in Ge Hong’s (284-364) Shenxian zhuan (Biographies of Divine Transcendents) and Tao Hongjing’s (456-536) Zhen’gao (Declarations of the Perfected) to the spread of a particular Daoist school named Quanzhen (Complete Perfection) during the Yuan dynasty (1271-1368). A particular focus will be given to the publish of the Dayuan xuandu baozang (Precious Canon of the Mysterious Metropolis of the Great Yuan) and state sacrifices performed for the Jidu river near Mount Wangwu, aided by newly discovered stele records from local Daoist temples in this region.     

Teng Li

University of Macau, China

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2 - Sacred Geography: The Development of Daoism in the Region of Mount Wangwu



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