In the Shadows of the Dao

Laozi, the Sage, and the Daodejing

Reddit icon
e-mail icon
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
LinkedIn icon
Thomas Michael
SUNY Series in Chinese Philosophy and Culture
  • Albany, NY: 
    State University of New York Press
    , October
     332 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.


Thomas Michael s study of the early history of the "Daodejing" reveals that the work is grounded in a unique tradition of early Daoism, one unrelated to other early Chinese schools of thought and practice. The text is associated with a tradition of hermits committed to "yangsheng," a particular practice of physical cultivation involving techniques of breath circulation in combination with specific bodily movements leading to a physical union with the Dao. Michael explores the ways in which the text systematically anchored these techniques to a Dao-centered worldview. Including a new translation of the "Daodejing," "In the Shadows of the Dao" opens new approaches to understanding the early history of one of the world s great religious texts and great religious traditions."

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Thomas Michael specializes in early Chinese religion, philosophy, and shamanism, and is the author of The Pristine Dao: Metaphysics in Early Daoist Discourse, also published by SUNY Press.



Reading Religion welcomes comments from AAR members, and you may leave a comment below by logging in with your AAR Member ID and password. Please read our policy on commenting.