Worship and Devotional Life - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Religion

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Heavenly Master Daoism

If most of the immortals of the Biographies were hermits of the distant past, the second century CE also witnessed the appearance of the first mass movements in Daoism. The most important proved to be that of the Way of the Heavenly Masters (Tianshi dao), which has survived to the present. Sometime in the middle of the second century—the traditional date is 142 CE—Zhang Daoling, on the basis of a revelation received from the Most High Lord Lao (the religious title of the philosopher Laozi), founded a "church" composed of twenty-four "governances" (zhi). The twenty-four governances on earth corresponded to twenty-four energies in heaven, and the term therefore implied that the world of the Heavenly Masters was "governed" according to the same principles as heaven.

Behind this program for an orderly world lay a detailed cosmology. The Dao was conceived of...

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This section contains 3,843 words
(approx. 13 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Worship and Devotional Life Encyclopedia Article
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Encyclopedia of Religion
Worship and Devotional Life from Encyclopedia of Religion. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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