Daodejing


Daodejing
or Tao-te ching

Classic text of Chinese philosophy.

Written between the 6th and 3rd centuries BC, it was once called the Laozi after its traditional author Laozi, though its true authorship is still unresolved. The Daodejing presents a way of life intended to restore harmony and tranquillity to a kingdom racked by disorder. It promotes a course of nonaction, understood as restraint from any unnatural action rather than complete passivity, thereby allowing the dao to resolve things naturally. It was designed as a handbook for rulers, who should rule by inaction, imposing no restrictions or prohibitions on their subjects. The Daodejing has had a tremendous influence on all later schools of Chinese philosophy and religion and has been the subject of hundreds of commentaries.

* * *

Chinese“Classic of the Way of Power”Wade-Giles romanization  Tao-te Ching 

      classic of Chinese philosophical literature. The name was first used during the Han dynasty (206 BC–AD 220); it had previously been called Laozi in the belief that it was written by Laozi, identified by the historian Sima Qian as a 6th-century-BC curator of the imperial Chinese archives. Laozi, however, is better known as the reputed founder of Daoism, a way of life (the Chinese word dao means “way”) that, among many competing “Ways,” alone became known as the Dao school, or Daoism. The long tradition that Laozi was the author of the Daodejing was so badly shaken in the 19th century that some scholars even questioned the historical existence of the sage. The classic itself, moreover, contains no references to other writings, persons, events, or places that might provide a clue for dating the composition. Scholarly opinions consequently range between the 8th and the 3rd century BC.

      The Daodejing presented a way of life intended to restore harmony and tranquillity to a kingdom racked by widespread disorders. It was critical of the unbridled wantonness of self-seeking rulers and was disdainful of social activism based on the type of abstract moralism and mechanical propriety characteristic of Confucian ethics. The dao of the Daodejing has received a wide variety of interpretations because of its elusiveness and mystical overtones, and it has been a basic concept in both philosophy and religion. In essence, it consists of “nonaction” (wuwei (wu-wei)), understood as no unnatural action rather than complete passivity. It implies spontaneity, noninterference, letting things take their natural course: “Do nothing and everything is done.” Chaos ceases, quarrels end, and self-righteous feuding disappears because the Dao is allowed to flow unchallenged and unchallenging. Everything that is comes from the inexhaustible, effortless, invisible, and inaudible Way, which existed before heaven and earth. By instilling in the populace the principle of Dao, the ruler precludes all cause for complaint and presides over a kingdom of great tranquillity.

      The popularity of the Daodejing is reflected in the vast number of commentaries that have been written: over 350 have been preserved in Chinese and about 250 in Japanese. Since 1900 more than 40 translations have appeared in English.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Daodejing — Das Daodejing (chinesisch 道德經 / 道德经, Dàodéjīng?/i) (ältere Umschrift: Tao Te King) ist eine Sammlung von Spruchkapiteln, die dem legendären Weisen …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Daodejing — Tao Tö King série Taoïsme Courants Textes Personnalités Notions et pratiques Divinités …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Laozi Daodejing — Tao Tö King série Taoïsme Courants Textes Personnalités Notions et pratiques Divinités …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Дао дэ цзин — (Daodejing), Книга пути и его проявления, классич. памятник кит. философии, приписываемый Лао цзы (4 3 вв. до н.э.), каноническому соч. даосизма. Трактат Д., являвшийся, вероятно, наставлением для правителей, определяет дао (путь) как абс.… …   Народы и культуры

  • Dao De Jing — Das Daodejing (chin. 道德經,  Dàodéjīng?/i) (ältere Umschrift: Tao Te King) ist eine Sammlung von Spruchkapiteln, die dem legendären Weisen Lǎozǐ zugeschrieben wird. Die Entstehungsgeschichte ist ungewiss und Gegenstand sinologischer Forschung.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Daode zhenjing — Das Daodejing (chin. 道德經,  Dàodéjīng?/i) (ältere Umschrift: Tao Te King) ist eine Sammlung von Spruchkapiteln, die dem legendären Weisen Lǎozǐ zugeschrieben wird. Die Entstehungsgeschichte ist ungewiss und Gegenstand sinologischer Forschung.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • TaoTe King — Das Daodejing (chin. 道德經,  Dàodéjīng?/i) (ältere Umschrift: Tao Te King) ist eine Sammlung von Spruchkapiteln, die dem legendären Weisen Lǎozǐ zugeschrieben wird. Die Entstehungsgeschichte ist ungewiss und Gegenstand sinologischer Forschung.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Tao Te King — Das Daodejing (chin. 道德經,  Dàodéjīng?/i) (ältere Umschrift: Tao Te King) ist eine Sammlung von Spruchkapiteln, die dem legendären Weisen Lǎozǐ zugeschrieben wird. Die Entstehungsgeschichte ist ungewiss und Gegenstand sinologischer Forschung.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Tao Teh King — Das Daodejing (chin. 道德經,  Dàodéjīng?/i) (ältere Umschrift: Tao Te King) ist eine Sammlung von Spruchkapiteln, die dem legendären Weisen Lǎozǐ zugeschrieben wird. Die Entstehungsgeschichte ist ungewiss und Gegenstand sinologischer Forschung.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Tao te Ching — Das Daodejing (chin. 道德經,  Dàodéjīng?/i) (ältere Umschrift: Tao Te King) ist eine Sammlung von Spruchkapiteln, die dem legendären Weisen Lǎozǐ zugeschrieben wird. Die Entstehungsgeschichte ist ungewiss und Gegenstand sinologischer Forschung.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.