Priest Says Taoism Should Take the Lead

March 23, 2007

Source: People's Daily Online

Taoism is more ideally placed than other religions to contribute to the harmony of Chinese society, said CPPCC member Ding Changyun, a Taoist priest from Shanghai's Qinci Yangdian Taoist Temple.

"Among the five major religions in China, Taoism is the only indigenous one," he said.

"The close relationship between Taoism and traditional Chinese culture makes it easy for common people to accept Taoism's doctrine of harmony."

Founded during the Eastern Han Dynasty (AD25-220), Taoism advocates the pursuit of the ultimate harmony between nature and society and a long happy life. Many parts of Chinese culture, such as its cuisine, martial arts and traditional medicine, have ties to Taoism.

"The difference between Taoism and Buddhism is that one cultivates oneself for the next life in Buddhism. In Taoism, one lives for this life," said Ding.

The Zhengyi Sect of Taoism, to which Ding belongs, does not require its followers to totally forsake their secular lives. Ding himself has a family and a son.