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Dreams of longevity, world-salvation and unification: Zheng Guanying and modern Taoism

MA Ping’an1

(1.Institute of Modern History, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences)

【Abstract】During the late Qing Dynasty and the early periods of the Republic of China, due to a variety of factors, Taoism was faced with a gradual decline. As a famous Taoist layperson, Zheng Guanying strove hard to promote Taoism. Within his whole life of 80 years, he spent over 60 years inquiring into the truth and pursuing the Taoist Way as his conviction to the Taoist faith grew more with his age. Zheng hoped that, by means of inner alchemy and cultivation, he could pursue longevity and use the techniques of immortality to both attain the Way and save the world and humanity. Through Taoism, Zheng hoped to command various religions in the world. Zheng promoted reforming the existential corruption of the Taoism as it existed in his time, and he actively pursued and conducted the causes of modern charity. Zheng actively published and disseminated works of the Taoist canon, and actively constructed Taoist monasteries and associations. Zheng was a disseminator and transformer of modern Chinese Taoism and certainly, possessed great influence. His contributions to Taoism should not be ignored, and his religious life merits the attention of the academic community.

【Keywords】 Zheng Guanying; Taoism; dream of longevity; dream of world-salvation; dream of unification;

【DOI】

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This Article

ISSN:1000-4289

CN: 11-1299/B

Vol , No. 01, Pages 37-51

February 2017

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Article Outline

Abstract

  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Dream of longevity and harsh reality of cultivation
  • 3 Dream of world-salvation: devotion to worldly merits
  • 4 Dream of unification: a utopia in which Taoism merged other religions
  • 5 Conclusions: significance of pursuing the dreams
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