Chapter 11 Daoism in the West

From Orientalism to Western Neo-Daoism?

In: Annual Review of the Sociology of Religion. Volume 14 (2023)
Author:
Marc Lebranchu
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Abstract

If the Western reception of Hinduism and Buddhism is well known, this is not the case for Taoism, whose interest in the West began in the 1970s in the milieu of Chinese medicine and martial arts before spreading to the general audience. Its teachings and practices have been secularized and hybridized and reduced to a collection of New Age concepts and wellness techniques. This process of westernization and (re)invention of a tradition has led to the creation of a popular western neo-Taoism which evolves between the market of new spiritualities and personal development, new religious movements and more rarely, religious conversion.

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