Employing a comparative religious studies approach, this book provides a comprehensive discussion of early Quanzhen as a Daoist religious movement charactized by asceticism, alchemical transformation, and mystical experiencing. Emphasis is placed on the complex interplay among views of self, religious praxis, and religious experience.
Contemporary scholars of Chinese philosophy often presuppose that early China possessed a naturalistic worldview, devoid of any non-natural concepts, such as transcendence. Challenging this presupposition head-on, Joshua R. Brown and Alexus McLeod argue that non-naturalism and transcendence have a robust and significant place in early Chinese thought. This book reveals that non-naturalist positions can be found in early Chinese texts, in topics including conceptions of the divine, cosmogony, and apophatic philosophy. Moreover, by closely examining a range of early Chinese texts, and providing comparative readings of a number of Western texts and thinkers, the book offers a way of reading early Chinese Philosophy as consistent with the religious philosophy of the East and West, including the Abrahamic and the Brahmanistic religions. Co-written by a philosopher and theologian, this book draws out unique insights into early Chinese thought, highlighting in particular new ways to consider a range of Chinese concepts, including tian, dao, li, and you/wu.
The essays collected in this volume by Paul Guyer, one of the world's foremost Kant scholars, explore Kant's attempt to develop a morality grounded on the intrinsic and unconditional value of the human freedom to set our own ends. When regulated by the principle that the freedom of all is equally valuable, the freedom to set our own ends -- what Kant calls humanity - becomes what he calls autonomy. These essays explore Kant's strategies for establishing the premise that freedom is the inner worth of the world or the essential end of humankind, as he says, and for deriving the specific duties that fundamental principle of morality generates in the empirical circumstances of human existence. The Virtues of Freedom further investigates Kant's attempts to prove that we are always free to live up to this moral ideal, that is, that we have free will no matter what, as well as his more successful explorations of the ways in which our natural tendencies to be moral -- dispositions to the feeling of respect and more specific feelings such as love and self-esteem -- can and must be cultivated and educated. Guyer finally examines the various models of human community that Kant develops from his premise that our associations must be based on the value of freedom for all. The contrasts but also similarities of Kant's moral philosophy to that of David Hume but many of his other predecessors and contemporaries, such as Stoics and Epicureans, Pufendorf and Wolff, Hutcheson, Kames, and Smith, are also explored.
The world’s great religious and philosophical traditions often include poignant testimonies of spiritual turmoil and healing. Following episodes of harrowing personal crisis, including addictions, periods of anxiety and panic, and reminders of mortality, these accounts then also describe pathways to consolation and resolution. In Making Peace with the Universe, Michael Scott Alexander reads diverse classic religious accounts as masterpieces of therapeutic insight. In the company of William James, Socrates, Muslim legal scholar turned mystic Hamid al-Ghazali, Chinggis Khan as described by the Daoist monk Qui Chuji, and jazz musician and Catholic convert Mary Lou Williams, Alexander traces the steps from existential crisis to psychological health. He recasts spiritual confessions as case histories of therapy, showing how they remain radical and deeply meaningful even in an age of scientific psychology. They record the therapeutic affect of spiritual experience, testifying to the achievement of psychological well-being through the cultivation of an edifying spiritual mood. Mixing scholarly learning with episodes from his own skeptical quest, Alexander demonstrates how these accounts of private terror and personal triumph offer a model of therapy through spiritual adventure. An interdisciplinary consideration of the shared terrain of religion and psychology, Making Peace with the Universe offers an innovative view of what spiritual traditions can teach us about finding meaning in the modern world.
This book deals with the thorny issue of human rights in different cultures and religions, especially in the light of bioethical issues. In this book, experts from Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Daoism, Hinduism and Confucianism discuss the tension between their religious traditions and the claim of universality of human rights. The East-West contrast is particularly evident with regards to human rights. Some writers find the human rights language too individualistic and it is foreign to major religions where the self does not exist in isolation, but is normally immersed in a web of relations and duties towards family, friends, religion community, and society. Is the human rights discourse a predominantly Western liberal ideal, which in bioethics is translated to mean autonomy and free choice? In today’s democratic societies, laws have been drafted to protect individuals and communities against slavery, discrimination, torture or genocide. Yet, it appears unclear at what moment universal rights supersede respect for cultural diversity and pluralism. This collection of articles demonstrates a rich spectrum of positions among different religions, as they confront the ever more pressing issues of bioethics and human rights in the modern world. This book is intended for those interested in the contemporary debates on religious ethics, human rights, bioethics, cultural diversity and multiculturalism.
In Taoism and Self Knowledge, Catherine Despeux develops a history of the "Chart for the Cultivation of Perfection" a text containing an array of meditative techniques for individual salvation and thunder rites. This chart was transmitted widely among Taoists in Quanzhen tradition.
The original mindfulness book, in a landmark new translation by the award-winning translator of the I Ching and The Art of War The most translated book in the world after the Bible, the Tao Te Ching, or “Book of the Tao,” is a guide to cultivating a life of peace, serenity, and compassion. Through aphorisms and parable, it leads readers toward the Tao, or the “Way”: harmony with the life force of the universe. Traditionally attributed to Lao-tzu, a Chinese philosopher thought to have been a contemporary of Confucius, it is the essential text of Taoism, one of the three major religions of ancient China. As one of the world’s great works of wisdom literature, it still has much to teach us today, offering a practical model based on modesty and self-restraint for living a balanced existence and for opening your mind, freeing your thoughts, and attaining greater self-awareness. With its emphasis on calm, simplicity, purity, and non-action, it provides a time-tested refuge from the busyness of modern life. This new translation seeks to understand the Tao Te Ching as a guide to everyday living and encourages a slow, meditative reading experience. The Tao Te Ching’s eighty-one brief chapters are accompanied by illuminating commentary, interpretation, poems, and testimonials by the likes of Margaret Mead, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Dr. Wayne W. Dyer. Specially commissioned calligraphy for more than two hundred Chinese characters illustrates the book’s essential themes.
In Ontological Aspects of Early Jewish Anthropology, Tyson L. Putthoff combines contemporary theory and sound exegesis to understand early Jewish beliefs about how the human self reacts ontologically in God’s presence.