Fangshi - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Religion

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 7 pages of information about Fangshi.
This section contains 1,842 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)
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Fangshi

FANGSHI. The fangshi ("specialists in occult prescriptions"), also called "magicians" and "recipe masters," and later known as daoshi ("specialists in the Way") were important contributors to the development of religious Daoism. They were experimental philosophers and occult technicians who, in the course of their observations of nature and search for physical immortality, created a body of prescientific knowledge that formed the basis of Chinese medicine, pharmacology, chemistry, astrology, divination, and physiological alchemy. A major part of this knowledge was later incorporated into the Daoist religion.

The origin and precise meaning of the term fangshi are far from certain; but they may have developed from the wu, shamans or sorcerers who were involved in mediating between the human and spiritual realms from the earliest times in Chinese court and village life. By the second century BCE the term was used to...

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This section contains 1,842 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Fangshi Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan
Fangshi from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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