Special Issue "The Sacred and the Secular in Taoism: Theories, Practices, and Communities"

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 August 2023 | Viewed by 651

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Wu Guo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Religious Studies, Shandong University, Jinan 250100, China
Interests: the history of Taoism; Taoist philosophy; Taoist practice methods

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Taoism is a native Chinese religion, much different from Western religions, especially in its areas of philosophy about the Tao and the Yin-yang, its theology about the San-qing (三清, Three Pure Ones) and various divinities, its practice methods for cultivating life and performing rituals, its special attitude towards the sacred world, and secular society. How can we understand Taoist complex ideologies, practice patterns, and communities in temples or in the home, as well as their influence on Chinese society and culture? There are many different contemporary academic opinions. Therefore, we are setting up a Special Issue about Taoism in the journal Religions (ISSN 2077-1444, https://www.mdpi.com/journal/religions), a famous international publication contained in A&HCI, for discussing Taoism in depth and multi-dimensionally. We are pleased to invite contributions to this Special Issue, in view of the pioneering research achievements in this area.

This Special Issue is devoted to discussing Taoist theories and practice patterns, as well as Taoist communities in temples or in the home, whether the character is associated with divinity or secularity. The aim is to study Taoism from a multi-dimension perspective, pay close attention to the relationship between the sacred and the secular, and highlight new contributions to understandings of Taoism. Papers focusing on studies of Taoist theories, practice patterns, and communities are welcome.

In this Special Issue of Religions, original research articles and reviews are welcome. Research areas may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Taoist ideologies;
  • Practice patterns of Taoism;
  • Taoist communities and temples;
  • The interaction between Taoism and Chinese society;
  • The relationship between Taoism and other religions.

We look forward to receiving your contributions. Thank you very much!

Prof. Dr. Wu Guo
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • sacred
  • secular
  • Taoist theology
  • Taoist philosophy
  • ritual forms
  • methods for cultivating
  • Taoist communities

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Visualizing the Invisible Body: Redefining Shanshui and the Human Body in the Daoist Context
Religions 2022, 13(12), 1187; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13121187 - 05 Dec 2022
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This paper addresses the “invisible body in shanshui paintings” by redefining the correlation between shanshui and the human body in the Daoist context. I argue that the human body is not invisible in shanshui painting—it is ever-present through the agency of the shanshui [...] Read more.
This paper addresses the “invisible body in shanshui paintings” by redefining the correlation between shanshui and the human body in the Daoist context. I argue that the human body is not invisible in shanshui painting—it is ever-present through the agency of the shanshui. The correlation will be unpacked in two aspects. Firstly, shanshui is ontologically connected and shares a “corporeal” affinity with the bodies of human beings. Secondly and more importantly, with the development of inner alchemy (neidan 內丹), shanshui and the human body are identified as representative of one another. Shanshui becomes the body through the lens of the unique concept of neijing 內景 (inner landscape). As the powerful and redemptive mediation between human beings and the Dao, shanshui reveals not only the inner body but also the mechanism of inner energies. Furthermore, it offers a solution to solve the Daoist anxiety over the body’s physical limitations by breaking down the constant confrontation and opposition between the “I” and the cosmos and reactivating one’s primordial dependency on nature. Shanshui painting, in this vein, transcends the mundane body and provides access to the sacred truth and reality of the Dao. Full article
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