Download Timothy Hugh Barrett. Taoism Under the T'Ang: Religion and Empire During a Golden Age of Chinese History (1996) PDF

TitleTimothy Hugh Barrett. Taoism Under the T'Ang: Religion and Empire During a Golden Age of Chinese History (1996)
Tags Philosophical Science Religion And Belief Tang Dynasty Confucianism
File Size1.5 MB
Total Pages107
Document Text Contents
Page 2

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Illustrations within the book on pages 7 , 53 .& 92 are sages and immortals taken from
the Li-tIli shen-hsien t'ung-chien. Cover jacket artwork is based on the illustration to a
poem by Ku K'uang in Huang Feng-chih ed. Ch'i-yen Tang-shih htla-p'lI.

Copyright © T. H. Barrett

First published in 1996 by
The Wellsweep Press
1 Grove End House
150 Highgate Road
London NW5 1 PD

ISBN 0 948454 98 9

All rights reserved: no pan of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval
system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photo­
copying or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher.


A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

Designed and rypeset by Wellsweep

Page 53


T A O I S M I N T H E M I D - K ' A I - Y U A N P E R I O D

of those places; rather, ceremonies should be instituted III
honour of the deities of the Shang-ch'ing pantheon under
whose control these mountains actually lay. In response to this
claim the patriarch was authorized to determine the necessary
rituals in accordance with the Taoist scriptures, temples were
decreed for each mountain, and Taoist domination of this
important area of state ceremonial became complete.89

But the one event which marked most clearly the direction III
which the emperor was to develop his support for Taoism dur­
ing his reign seems to have occurred shortly after Ssu-ma
Ch'eng-chen was summoned to court from the Tien-t'ai
mountains. In 72 1 the emperor ordered that the text of the
Tao-te ching written by Ssu-ma in three calligraphic styles
should be engraved on a pillar in a Taoist institution in the capi­
tal. 90 This move went beyond the earlier inscription of 708 in
providing a text in triplicate, thus providing an exact parallel
with the triple engraving of the Confucian classics on stone
some five centuries earlier. The emperor's attention had already
been directed towards the Tao-te ching in 7 19, when it had been
brought into a controversy over the choice of commentaries for
examination texts, in the co urse of which Li u Chih -chi (66 1 -

89 Ch'en, Tao-tsangyuan-liu k 'ao, p . 56. THY 50, p. 879, would dare rhis
to 721 , which seems too early, and TFYK 53 : 12a to 73 1 , which seems too
late even rhough ir clearly refers to rhe implementarion rarher rhan rhe
suggestion of the measure. CTS 1 92, p. 5 1 28, in suggesring rhe dare
adopted here, coincides (as Ch'en shows) wirh an independent record of
the establishment of a temple on Heng-shan.
90 TFYK 53 : 1 0b. Ch'en, Tao-tsang yuan-liu k 'ao, p. 56, prefers rhe dare
seemingly indicated in CTS 1 92, p. 5 1 28, and Imaeda Jiro, on p. 24 of
"Genso kotei no Roshi chukai ni tsuire," Chugoku koten kenkyu 23 Gune,
1 978), pp. 20-35, also appears to doubt the dare 72 1 , bur ir is nor
inconsistent with other developments.


Page 54

T A O I S M U � D E R T H E T ' A � G

721 ) criticized the Ho-shang kung commentary currently used
in favour of the commentary of Wang Pi (226-249) . 9 1

I t i s noteworthy that at this date the Tao-te ching i s discussed as
but one amongst many classics, but from 720 onwards the text
and its author were to be singled out for increasing attention to
stand eventually at the head of a whole new branch of
state-sponsored scholarship and ritual.

Thus in 730 we find imperially-sponsored lectures based on
Lao-tzu's text taking place at court . 92 In 732 two more copies of
the Tao-te ching were engraved on stone, together with an
entirely new commentary under Hsuan-tsung's name, whilst in
733 the emperor ordered that a copy of the classic should be
kept in every home, and that in the examinations questions on
the Confucian Shang-shu and Lun-yu should be decreased to
make way for questions on the Tao-te ching. 93 Next, in 735, an
official sub-commentary was promulgated also, again under the
emperor's name.94 Then, again in 735, a priest named Ssu-ma
Hsiu requested that the text with Hsuan-tsung's commentary
should be engraved on stone at all places in the capital and else­
where where Taoist rituals were performed on behalf of the
state. 95 Honours such as these had never been accorded any text,
Buddhist, Taoist or Confucian, at any time in the past.

The title given Ssu-ma Hsiu in the sources which mentions his
request is tao-men wei-i. This indicates that during this period
the Taoist church was being brought increasingly into the

9 1 See William H ung, "A Bibliographical Controversy at the rang
Court, AD 7 1 9," HJAS 20 ( 1957), pp. 74-134.
92 TFYK53: 1 1a-12a.
93 For these measures, and for the problems involved in dating them, see
Imaeda, "Roshi chukai," and for one of the copies of the commentary on
stone, CSTP 83:2b-6b.
94 Imaeda Jiro, "To Genso gosei D otoku shinkei so ni tsuite," Taisho
Daigaku kenkyu kiyo 64 (November, 1 978) , pp. 55-83.
95 Ou-yang Hsiu, Ou-yang wen chung kung wen chi 1 39: 1 3a (SPTK edn).


Page 107


Wang Hsü-chen王虛真70
Wang Hsüan-ho王懸河抖,39
Wang Pi王甜言6
Wang Shih-拆泣n玉士源68
Wang Yüan-chih王遠知詣,訝,38
Wei Hua-ts'un魏幸存40
Wei Shan-fu韋山甫80
Wu Fa-t'ung吳法通95
Wu-shang pi-yao無上祕要18
Wu-tou-mi tao j工斗米遁11
Wu Yün吳筠71,72

Yang Hsi楊羲12
Yeh Fa-shan葉法善刃,多2
Yin Wen-ts'的尹文操刃,3哇,51
Yin Yin尹情72
Ying 1 -chieh應夷節96
Yü-chen kuan玉真觀48


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