Cultivation and Books

Richard G. Wang

in The Ming Prince and Daoism

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199767687
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199950607 | DOI:
Cultivation and Books

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Chapter 4 explores the interaction between Ming princes’ self-cultivation and their making and consumption of Daoist books as material culture in the context of Ming print culture. Some princes practiced Daoist self-cultivation techniques. Like self-cultivation, writing books on Daoism was an inherent element of the princes’ Daoist identity and cultivation. Through cultivation as well as production and consumption of books, many Ming princes became very closely involved in Daoist cultural life. The examples include the Ning Principality and Zhu Zaiwei’s compiling activities. Furthermore, the princely holding of Daozang was significant in that it indicates the extent of the circulation of Daozang in Ming society. In terms of readership, the Daoist books the Ming princes produced were aimed at the emperor, their imperial relatives, and literati friends. Sometimes they gave these books to Daoist institutions due to their faith. Occasionally, some princely establishments printed Daoist books for charities.

Keywords: neidan; waidan; cultivation; print culture; book production; book consumption; stele texts; Daozang; Daoist canonical supplements; princely imprints

Chapter.  8091 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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