Riding the Wind With Liezi: New Perspectives on the Daoist Classic

SUNY Press (2011)

Abstract

The Liezi is the forgotten classic of Daoism. Along with the Laozi (Daodejing) and the Zhuangzi, it's been considered a Daoist masterwork since the mid-eighth century, yet unlike those well-read works, the Liezi is little known and receives scant scholarly attention. Nevertheless, the Liezi is an important text that sheds valuable light on the early history of Daoism, particularly the formative period of sectarian Daoism. We do not know exactly what shape the original text took, but what remains is replete with fantastic characters, whimsical tales, paradoxical aphorisms, and philosophically sophisticated reflection on the nature of the world and humanity's place within it. Ultimately, the Liezi sees the world as one of change and indeterminacy. Arguing for the Liezi's historical, philosophical, and literary significance, the contributors to this volume offer a fresh look at this text, using contemporary approaches and providing novel insights. The volume is unique in its attention to both philosophical and religious perspectives.

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Author Profiles

Jeffrey Dippmann
Central Washington University
Ronnie Littlejohn
Belmont University

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