Taoism As A Philosophy Or Religion?

1917 Words Dec 4th, 2014 8 Pages
When the topic of religion or philosophy comes to mind, Taoism is often unheard of and is shrouded with mystery. While this is true, its rich history and ideologies are both profound and intriguing. Taoism is one of the oldest and most ancient philosophies known to mankind. There are many theories as to just how old the customs are. Taoism is also referred to as Daoism which is a more precise way of articulating the word in English to match the pronunciation of the Chinese word. Taoism is often entitled as a philosophy or a religion. However, certain time frames set it to be either a religion or a philosophy. For example, back in the 2nd century, Taoism was mainly a religion. Nowadays, it is treated more as a philosophy due to its complex ideas. Many philosophical writings and poetry in the Tao Te Ching, many believe it to be a philosophy. On the other hand, there are many religious aspects of Taoism such as reciting the Tao Te Ching or giving offerings. While Taoism is a more uncommon religion, its origin, ideology, practices, and persecutions have been studied immensely. Early Taoism in the 2nd century was founded in the ideas of the Taoist intellectuals who each added their own local religious rituals and beliefs. This helped to provide examples of the philosophy and to incorporate Taoism into the current views of the Chinese people. Some of these early rituals focused on meditation, breathing and the recitation of verses (Robinson 1). However, Taoism began to really…
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