Xian - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Religion

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 4 pages of information about Xian.
This section contains 1,078 words
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Xian

XIAN. Usually written using the characters for "man" and for "mountain," the character for xian is said originally to have been composed of those for "man" and for "ascend." An early dictionary explains that it refers to those who, "when they grow old, do not die." Xian means "to move into the mountains"; that is why it is written with the character for "man" next to that for "mountain." Together, these etymologies circumscribe a field of meaning that links the search for survival beyond death to mountains and to the heavens—a range that quite accurately reflects both the practice and the status of xian throughout Chinese history. It also explains why the term is translated in English either as "immortal" or "transcendent."

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This section contains 1,078 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Xian Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan
Xian from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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