The Daode Jing, a highly enigmatic work rooted in ancient Chinese cosmology, ontology, metaphysics, and moral thinking, is regularly offered to college and high-school students in religion, philosophy, history, literature, Asian studies, and humanities courses. As a result, an ever-expanding group of faculty with very different backgrounds and training routinely confront the question: "How should I teach the Daode Jing?" Written for non-specialists who may not have a background in ancient Chinese culture, the essays collected in this volume provide up-to-date information on contemporary scholarship and classroom strategies that have been successful in a variety of teaching environments.
A classic text like the Daode Jing generates debate among scholars and teachers who ask questions like: Should we capitalize on popular interest in the Daode Jing in our classrooms? Which of the many translations and scholarly approaches ought we to use? Is it appropriate to think of the Daode Jing as a religious text at all? These and other controversies are addressed in this volume. Contributors are well-known scholars of Daoism, including Livia Kohn, Norman Girardot, Robert Henricks, Russell Kirkland, Hans-Georg Moeller, Hall Roth, and Michael LaFargue. In addition, there are essays by Eva Wong (Daoist practitioner), David Hall (philosophy), Gary DeAngelis (mysticism), and a jointly written essay on pedagogical strategies by Judith Berling, Geoffrey Foy, and John Thompson (Chinese religion)."This work is an invaluable resource for especially (but not only) those non-specialists who teach the Daode Jing. The essays offer materials that address very practical issues in teaching this influential and elusive text. Even more important, they display a rich variety of sometimes contending perspectives on the best approaches to it. A rich collection, then, and one that is both accessible and can serve many different needs." --Lee H. Yearley, Walter Y. Evans-Wentz Professor of Oriental Philosophies, Religions, and Ethics, Stanford University "This rich and multifaceted volume superbly addresses the increasing interest among students and teachers in the West regarding fruitful avenues for understanding and teaching the Daode Jing. The authors represent a wide variety of distinct perspectives and blend intellectual gravitas with playful humility and wit in a manner which so engages the reader that the book is hard to put down. Teaching the Daode Jing is that rare phenomenon among academic books: an anthology in which all of the different chapters harmonize beautifully with one another and in the process produce a scholarly contribution which one will want to return to and reread again and again." --Dennis Shirley, Professor of Education, Lynch School of Education, Boston College
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