Lao Tze and his works in the period from Two Han Dynasties to the Six Dynasties. Based on the clarification of views toward Lao Tze and notes on" />
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On the School of Laozi in the Period from the Eastern Han Dynasty to the Six Dynasties

Author: LiuLingZuo
Tutor: XiongTieJi
School: Central China Normal University
Course: Historical Philology
Keywords: Laoism Lao Tze Tao the Understanding of Lao Tze Lao Tze The Two Han Dynasties to the Six Dynasties
CLC: K235
Type: PhD thesis
Year: 2005
Downloads: 678
Quote: 1
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Abstract


This dissertation mainly studies Lao Tze' dissertation">Lao Tze and his works in the period from Two Han Dynasties to the Six Dynasties. Based on the clarification of views toward Lao Tze and notes on the book "Lao Tze " (《老子》) in this period, analyzes the development and characteristics of Laoism in the period from Two Han Dynasties to the Six Dynasties. It is in that period that Lao Tze has been viewed gradually as an immortal instead of a human; moreover, in that period Lao Tze and his works have received considerable attention, so this dissertation broadens its study interest from notes on "Lao Tze" to the views toward Lao Tze. Such a term "Notes on Lao Tze’" refers to all the existed explanations on the book "Lao Tze" and such a term "views toward Lao Tze" means the different opinions toward Lao Tze and his works in that period as well as the explanations on "Lao Tze ". This dissertation contains two parts: the first part, with its title as "the views toward Lao Tze in the period from Two Han Dynasties to the Six Dynasties", consists of three chapters: chapter one, chapter two and chapter three; The second part, whose title is "the views toward Lao Tze in the period from Two Han Dynasties to the Six Dynasties", consists of chapter four, chapter five and chapter six. The main contents of each chapter are summarized as the followings:With "The Variation of Views toward Lao Tze in Han Dynasty" as its title, the first chapter illustrates the changes of role of Lao Tze in the eyes of the people in the Two Han Dynasties, particularly the processes of how lao Tze gets its Immortal figure. It elucidates three questions, they are: the changes of the role of Lao Tze from the "Shiji" (《史记》) point of view; the views toward Lao Tze in eastern Han Period from Huang Lao( "黄老 " ) and Huang Lao Dao ("黄老道 ") point of view; and from the "Lao Tze Ming’ ("老子铭 ") point of view in the later years of Eastern Han Dynasty. After carefully examining the historical evidences, the dissertation considered that although it appeared many legends about Lao Tze in Western Han period, Lao Tze was a human rather than an immortal in that period. However, as the political influence of laoism declined and the immortalism and laoism integrated, the figure of Lao Tze varied. Evidences showed that some people intended to promote the social position of Lao Tze in Western Han period through immortalizing him. In Eastern Han period, there were two terms related to Lao Tze, one is "Huanglao" ("黄老") , the other is "Huanglaodao" (" 黄老道 "). But the integration of "Huangdi" ("黄帝") and "Lao Tze" in Eastern Han period and after implied differently from that in "Shiji". The immortalists, whose aim is to pursue undying lives have pushed Lao Tze to become an immortal gradually. In the late Eastern Han period, "Taiping Dao " ("太平道") and Emperor Huan both worshiped "Huanglaodao", but they didnot mean the same thing.The title of the second chapter is "Buddhism and Taoism views toward Lao Tze in the period from Two Han Dynasties to the Six Dynasties. This chapter aims at examining how Buddhism and laoism view lao Tze and his works, and analyzing religious background and epoch resources behind these views. The dissertation considers that after Han and Wei period, in particular, the Nan Chao and Bei Chao period, the legends about lao Tze are closely related to his birth. These stories, which are full of mysteriousness, reflect the historical and world view of Taoism. The Buddhism view toward Lao Tze is based on the criticism of the legend stories about Lao Tze. On the one hand, they insist on that Lao Tze is a human rather than an immortal; on the other hand, they agree that "Lao Tze" is one of the allusions of Taoism works. The Buddhism view toward Lao Tze is in fact to use what they know about Taoism to attack Taoism. In addition, this chapter has selected two representative historical figures (Mouzi for Buddhism and Gehong for Taoism to analyze their views toward Lao Tze. The comparison shows that whereas Mouzi’s( “ 牟子” ) view toward lao Tze reflects the Buddhism spreading characteristics in its early period, that is, Buddhism can not be spread unless it relies on Taoism Lao Tze, Gehong’s (“ 葛洪 ”) view toward Lao Tze represents the differences between the origin meaning of Lao Tze and the Immortal Taoism after Han and Wei Dynasty.The third chapter, which is titled as "The scholars’ view toward lao Tze in Wei and Jin Dynasty", elucidates how the metaphysics evaluates lao Tze. It emphasizes on some famous scholars’ views toward Lao tze, such as, He An, Wang Bi, Yuan Ji, Sun Sheng and so on. He and Wang attempt to find foundation for famous religions through comparing Taoism and Confucianism, evaluating the saints’ doctrines. In fact, the slogan Sheng ren ti wu( " 圣人体无 " )implies the Confucian ethic morality and political views of the metaphysics. The concepts of Zhiren( " 至人 ")and Zenren( " 真人 " ) expressed by Ruan Ji in his Da ren xian sheng"(" 大人先生 ") is the ideal personality which is the combination of Lao Tze and Zhuang Tze. Meanwhile, the criticism of Sun Sheng (the Eastern Jin scholar) toward Lao Tze is based on the negative influence of the metaphysics in the social realities. From He, Wang to Sun, the differences among the scholars’ evaluations toward lao Tze reflect the development routines of the metaphysics, that is, it initially integrates Taoism with Confucianism, then formally opposes Confucianism and finally agrees with Confucianism.The title of the fourth chapter is "the Huang laoismization of ’Lao Tze’". It illustrates the variation of the explanations of "Lao Tze" from the academic history point of view. The careful examination of the current available notes to "lao Tze" reveals that the explanations have three trends: Huang Laoismization, Taoismization and Metaphysicanization. With "Huai Nan Zi" as its magnum opus, Huang Lao Taoism in Han dynasty has influenced significantly the academic, religion and

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CLC: > History, geography > History of China > Feudal society ( 475 BC - AD 1840 ) > Jin, Northern and Southern Dynasties (220 ~ 589)
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