Academics to promote oriental wisdom of Daoism

By Keen Zhang
0 CommentsPrint E-mail, November 11, 2009
Adjust font size:

On November 5, the First International Summit on Laozi and Daoist Culture was held in Beijing, attracting 600 professionals, scholars, Daoists and followers of Daoism.

The First International Summit on Laozi and Daoist Culture

The two-day summit, with the theme of "Daoism, Science, Harmony, Health," was sponsored by the China Research Association of Laozi Daoism Culture (CRALDC). Fulfilling the guideline of "creating a harmonious society together," participants explored the strategic meaning of what Daoism's innovation means to the world. They also reflected on the prospects of the Daoist culture in the 21st century.

Daoists from both home and abroad, mostly academics and scholars, submitted more than 240 papers to the summit organizers.

"We are here to create an international platform for cultural exchange," said Hu Fuchen, the current president of CRALDC, in his speech at the opening ceremony in the Great Hall of the People. CRALDC is an association under the auspices of China Academy of Social Sciences.

Hu has several ambitions. "We want to promote Laozi's culture of Daoism around the world, at any cost. We dare to innovate, dare to reform. We are to establish domestic and overseas Laozi institutes and Daoist cultural towns, which can exhibit the soft power of China," Hu said.

His efforts are similar to the establishment of Confucius institutes around world.

The First International Summit on Laozi and Daoist Culture

Hu is convinced that in an era of global multi-polarity, with terrorist threats, the financial crisis and pollution, Daoism will be a universal culture. He believes his association, with help from academics around the globe, has a mission to re-discover and revive the timeless philosophy and wisdom for the world peace.

Daoism, branching from Laozi with his Daoist "bible," the Daodejing, is a native religion and collection of philosophies, values, traditions and concepts in Chinese society. It has influenced the development of China and Chinese thought patterns for more than 2,000 years. It is said the Daodejing was one of the most-read books in the world, only second to the Bible, and has attracted many followers and practitioners from around the globe.

"My own belief is that Daoism's contribution to the world will lie in what it can offer to an understanding of religious experiences and the human encounter with the numinal," Ronnie Littlejohn with Belmont University in the United States said in his paper entitled, How Daoism Can Be for the World.

The First International Summit on Laozi and Daoist Culture

"I am not suggesting that Daoism will replace the world systems of Islam, Christianity, Judaism, or Buddhism. Nor do I suggest that Daoism be considered as another religion alongside these, but I do think it may well bring forward reports of experiences that may provide new resources for a revitalization of spiritual consciousness globally," Littlejohn wrote.

Stephan Wik from The Wuji Centre in Belgium echoed this belief in a paper titled, Daoism and its Role in Supporting Sustainable Modern Relationships. Wik noted, "We live in changing, challenging times and human relationships are not immune from the stresses and strains that we, and our planet, are experiencing. I believe that the ancient Daoist arts and wisdom have a profound role to play in offering tools and techniques to anyone wishing to create a more resilient, healthy and enjoyable personal relationship."

PrintE-mail Bookmark and Share


No comments.

Add your comments...

  • Your Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
Send your storiesGet more from