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History of Taoism

History of Taoism The history of Taoism stretches throughout Chinese history. Originating in prehistoric China, it has exerted a powerful influence over Chinese culture throughout the ages. Taoism evolved in response to changing times, with its doctrine and associated practices being revised and refined. The acceptance of Taoism by the ruling...

Shamanism Buddha Meditation Forest Faith Prayer

Chinese Shamanism

Chinese Shamanism Chinese shamanism, alternatively called Wuism (巫教; wū jiào; ‘wu religion, shamanism, witchcraft‘; alternatively 巫觋宗教 wū xí zōngjiào), refers to the shamanic religious tradition of China. Its features are especially connected to the ancient Neolithic cultures such as the Hongshan culture. Chinese shamanic traditions are intrinsic to Chinese folk religion. Various ritual traditions are rooted in original...

Complex of deities at an outdoors fountain-altar with incense burners at a pilgrimage area in Weihai, Shandong. At the centre stands Mazu surrounded by the four Dragon Gods (龍神) and various lesser deities. Distant behind Mazu stands the Sun Goddess (太陽神).

Chinese gods and immortals

Chinese gods and immortals Chinese traditional religion is polytheistic; many deities are worshipped in a pantheistic view where divinity is inherent in the world The gods are energies or principles revealing, imitating and propagating the way of Heaven (Tian 天), which is the supreme godhead manifesting in the northern culmen of the starry vault...

The imposing stupa enshrining the relic of Shakyamuni Buddha's finger bone, at Famen Temple, a Buddhist complex in Baoji, Shaanxi.

Religion in China

Religion in China The government of China officially espouses state atheism, though Chinese civilization has historically long been a cradle and host to a variety of the most enduring religio-philosophical traditions of the world. Confucianism and Taoism (Daoism), later joined by Buddhism, constitute the “three teachings” that have shaped Chinese...

Xuanyuan Temple in Huangling, Shaanxi, dedicated to the worship of the Yellow Emperor.

Chinese Folk Religion

Chinese Folk Religion Chinese folk religion (Chinese popular religion or traditional Chinese religion) or Han folk religion or Shenism is the religious tradition of the Han Chinese, including veneration of forces of nature and ancestors, exorcism of harmful forces, and a belief in the rational order of nature which can be influenced by human...

Two women praying in front of a Japanese Shinto shrine.

East Asian Religions

East Asian Religions The East Asian religions or Taoic religions form a subset of the Eastern religions. This group includes Chinese religion overall, which further includes ancestral worship, Chinese folk religion, Confucianism, Taoism and so-called popular salvationist organisations (such as Yiguandao and Weixinism), as well as elements drawn from Mahayana Buddhism that form the core...

Chinese Mythology

Chinese Mythology Chinese mythology (中國神話; Zhōngguó shénhuà) is mythology that has been passed down in oral form or recorded in literature in the geographic area now known as “China”. Chinese mythology includes many varied myths from regional and cultural traditions. Chinese mythology is far from monolithic, not being an integrated system, even...

Botánicas such as this one in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, USA, sell religious goods such as statues of saints and candles decorated with prayers alongside folk medicine and amulets.

Folk Religion

Folk Religion In religious studies and folkloristics, folk religion, popular religion, or vernacular religion comprises various forms and expressions of religion that are distinct from the official doctrines and practices of organized religion. The precise definition of folk religion varies among scholars. Sometimes also termed popular belief, it consists of ethnic or regional religious customs under the umbrella of...

Xianguting Temple, a daoguan in Weihai, Shandong, China

Taoism

Taoism Taoism or Daoism, is a religious or philosophical tradition of Chinese origin which emphasizes living in harmony with the Tao (道; Dào; literally: “the Way”, also romanized as Dao). The Tao is a fundamental idea in most Chinese philosophical schools; in Taoism, however, it denotes the principle that is the source, pattern and...

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