“Mountain Daoism and the Nurture of Life: From Ancient to Contemporary China”
Tuesday, February 12, 2019 - 6:00pm

The Institute for Asian Studies presents

“Mountain Daoism and the Nurture of Life: From Ancient to Contemporary China”



NEW Date: Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Time: 6:00 PM
Location: PSU ASRC Room 001


Free and Open to the Public


About the Lecture: The “nurture of life” is the English translation of the Chinese term yangsheng 飬生, which refers to a system of practice that is believed to endow the adept with longevity, a cherished goal in the Chinese tradition. The “nurture of life” is synonymous with the more familiar term qigong, and it includes arts such as the widely popular taiji or taijiquan. The system of practices known as the “nurture of life” can be identified with the putative author of the Daodejing, the ancient and mysterious figure known as Laozi, but the “nurture of life” was not recorded as a systematic program until the writings of the early medieval Chinese Daoist figure, Ge Hong, situated it at the heart of mountain Daoism. This lecture explores the connections between Laozi and Ge Hong and the long tradition of mountain Daoism that they helped to establish, and it also offers a perspective on the modern status of mountain Daoism as it remains alive today in contemporary China.


 About the Speaker: A Portland native, Thomas Michael is Associate Professor of the School of Philosophy at Beijing Normal University, China. He received his BA’s from Portland State University and his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He specializes in Daoism and Shamanism, and he is the author of two books, The Pristine Dao: Metaphysics in Early Daoist Discourse (SUNY Press, 2005), and In the Shadows of the Dao: Laozi, the Sage, and the Daodejing (SUNY Press 2015). He is also the author of several articles and book chapters, including “Shamanism Theory and the Early Chinese Wu” (Journal of the American Academy of Religion, 2015), “Does Shamanism Have a History? With Attention to Early Chinese Shamanism” (Numen, 2017), and “Mountains and Early Daoism in the Writings of Ge Hong” (Journal of the History of Religions, 2016).


For more information, contact:
PSU Institute for Asian Studies
Tel.: 503-725-8576