Following the fate of a small Daoist community temple, the Wengongci in the town of Hanzhong, Shaanxi, the author examines the structure of the temple, the monastics living in it, its surrounding lay community, and the gods worshiped in its confines. In a second part, she outlines the individual s path as a Daoist monastic today, from the choice of the religious life through the various forms of training to advanced ordinations and activities in the society. Finally, she discusses the greater community of the Dao in terms of pseudo-kinship structures and gender issues.
Livia Kohn is professor emerita of religion and East Asian studies at Boston University and now lives in Florida. Her specialty is medieval Daoism and the study of Chinese longevity practices. She has written and edited numerous books and is a long-term practitioner of taiji quan, qigong, yoga, and meditation.