The Daoxue zhuan (Biographies of students of the dao) of the last quarter of the sixth century AD, is a collection of Lives of persons of various Daoist traditions most of whom are said to have lived between the fourth and sixth centuries AD. It is the earliest compilation of Daoist biographies whose protagonists for the most part were mortal beings; some of them even have entries in the standard dynastic histories. The extant fragments, translated here for the first time, are a mine of information on various aspects of social and religious life in medieval China: In contrast to earlier collections, they show evidence of an early Daoist monasticism, thus reflecting a change in the religious life of some Daoists in Southern China. Also, it is the first collection of Daoist biographies which devotes a whole chapter exclusively to the Lives of female Daoists and thus may help elucidating the nuns' position within the society in this early time.
The Author: Stephan Peter Bumbacher studied sciences at the University of Basel, 1972-1977. 1977-1982 he studied sinology, archaeology and japanology at the University of Zurich. Postgraduate studies at the Universities of Paris and Oxford. 1985-1989 project manager, then executive director of a Swiss software company. 1992-1995 Chiang Ching-kuo Lecturer in Classical Chinese at the University of Edinburgh. Received his Ph.D. from the University of Heidelberg in 1996. Since 1996 assistant professor (Wissenschaftlicher Assistent), Seminar fuer Sinologie und Koreanistik, University of Tuebingen.
Stephan Peter Bumbacher
Peter Lang AG
Date of Publication
Europaische Hochschulschriften Reihe 27: Asiatische Und Afrikanische Studien