The emergence of Taoism during the 3rd through 8th centuries as China's indigenous higher religion affected all areas of culture.
This volume, one of a pair by Paul Kroll (its companion dealing with other aspects of medieval Chinese literature and cultural history), brings together twelve studies by this leading scholar of medieval China which illuminate selected aspects of Taoism in texts dating to this period and also considers its influence in the works of the great T'ang-dynasty poet, Li Po.
Included here are essays on the proto-Taoist poem "Far Roaming" from the 2nd century B.C., on gods, goddesses, paradises, and poetry of the momentous Shang-ch'ing revelations of the 4th century A.D., and on Taoist figures from the T'ang dynasty.
The author's writings on Li Po are well known, and several articles included in the second half of the book examine Li Po's personal connection with religious Taoism and his use of its specialized imagery.
The volume concludes with a study focusing on the influence of earlier writings on Li Po's famous poem "The Road to Shu is Hard," and with an extensive monograph on his use of Buddhism in his poems and inscriptions.