Among the five major religions in China, Taoism is the only one originated in China and founded by the Chinese, so it is also known as the local religion. Taoism had a profound influence on the politics, economy and culture of ancient China. It was one of the three spiritual pillars of the ruling class. After the founding of new China, through the democratic reform of religious system, Chinese Taoism gained a new life and gradually embarked on the road of adapting to the socialist society. Since the reform and opening up, under the guidance of the party and the government's religious policy in the new period, Chinese Taoism has presented an unprecedented new atmosphere, which has made positive contributions to promoting economic development, social harmony, the reunification of the motherland and world peace.
The emergence and development of Taoism
Taoism and Taoism
Most modern Chinese scholars believe that Taoism and Taoism are two concepts which are interrelated and different. It is also called Taoism and Huang Lao. Strictly speaking, the two are not exactly the same thing. The idea of "Xi Zi Zhuang school" in pre Qin period or "Xi Zi Zhuang school" in Han Dynasty is represented by the idea of "Liu Dao Yi" in Qin Dynasty. They all regard "Tao" as the highest category in their thoughts and theories. They advocate respecting Tao and valuing virtue, following the example of nature, ruling the country and cultivating their moral character by the rule of purity and inaction, dealing with the belief in ghosts and gods, and dealing with the relationship between man and nature. Therefore, they are called Taoists. As for Taoism, it is a religious entity. As the name suggests, "Taoism" means the enlightenment or preaching of "Tao", or the religion of believing in "Tao" and "becoming an immortal and gaining Tao" through spiritual cultivation. As a kind of religious entity, Taoism not only has its unique classical doctrines, immortal beliefs and ritual activities, but also has its religious heritage, mission organization, discipline system, and places for religious activities. This kind of religious community is obviously different from the early Taoist school, but Taoism is the upstream of "Taoism", and the essential belief of Taoism and Taoism is "Tao", so we must not separate it.
The emergence, formation and development of Taoism
From the Eastern Han Dynasty to the Wei, Jin and southern and Northern Dynasties, Taoism was formed and established. In the late Eastern Han Dynasty, Huang Lao Dao became an entity, and the folk primitive religious groups such as Taiping Dao and Tianshi Dao were established one after another. After hundreds of years of reform and development in the Wei, Jin, southern and Northern Dynasties, the classical doctrines, practices and disciplines of Taoism gradually became complete, and the new Taoism flourished and was recognized by the rulers, and evolved into a mature orthodox religion.
From the Sui and Tang Dynasties to the Northern Song Dynasty, due to the reverence of the ruling class, Taoism flourished and had a great social influence, and its philosophy, health preserving techniques, incantations and scientific rules were also more perfect. After the late Tang Dynasty and the Northern Song Dynasty, there were some new changes in Taoism, mainly manifested in the emergence of the thought of the integration of Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism, and the rise of Jindan Taoism school, which mainly practiced internal alchemy. In the Southern Song, Jin and Yuan Dynasties, Taoism changed. In North China, new Taoism schools such as Quanzhen Taoism, taiyidao Taoism, and Zhenda Taoism appeared. In South China, new Taoism schools such as Jindan sect, Nanzong sect, Tianxin sect, Shenxiao sect, Qingwei sect, and Jingming sect appeared. Early Tianshi sect, Shangqing sect, and Lingbao sect also innovated in their doctrines and methods. The main characteristics of Taoism in this period were to publicize the unity of the three religions and pay attention to the cultivation of inner alchemy.
In the Ming and Qing Dynasties, with China's feudal society entering the late stage, the development of Taoism stagnated. Taoism in modern China inherited from the Ming and Qing Dynasties, except for a few periods, it was always at a low ebb.
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