Understanding Taoism: Origins, Beliefs, Practices, Holy Texts, Sacred Places

(This abstract also acts as a review from NCTA student worker Matther Kizior, who gives this book a 4 out 5 stars) "Taoism: Origins, Beliefs, Practices, Holy Texts, Sacred Places" provides a wonderful introduction to one of the world’s least understood religions. Providing a succinct overview of the history, sects, beliefs, practices, and ideas of Taoists, this book seeks to give the reader an understanding of Taoism from the inside out. While there are books that go into greater on the subject of Taoism, Taoism itself can be highly esoteric and mystic at times, delving into concepts and ideas about spirituality and the material universe that take time to properly grasp, let alone explain. However, this introductory book succeeds in stripping down the voluminous history of Taoism and making it bare bones for the sake of clearing up enigmatic philosophy and spiritual beliefs. What Jennifer Oldstone-Moore leaves us with is a small time capsule of the deities, practices, and central concepts and views of the universe that make Taoism a palpable force even today. If you are interested in learning about how ancient Chinese calculated time, how they viewed meditation or super structures, and if you want a little light shed on the intricacies of Chinese alchemy, this is the book you should have your head buried in. This introduction to Taoism takes a day to finish, and if you read it correctly, leaves you infinitely more curious but more prepared to talk about Taoism to students or other people who may have questions.
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Oxford University Press
New York, NY
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