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Teaching the Daode Jing$
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Gary Delany DeAngelis and Warren G. Frisina

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195332704

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195332704.001.0001

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Hermeneutics and Pedagogy: Gimme That Old‐Time Historicism

Hermeneutics and Pedagogy: Gimme That Old‐Time Historicism

Chapter:
(p.167) Hermeneutics and Pedagogy: Gimme That Old‐Time Historicism
Source:
Teaching the Daode Jing
Author(s):

Gary D. DeAngelis (Contributor Webpage)

Warren G. Frisina (Contributor Webpage)

Michael LaFargue

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195332704.003.0013

Michael LaFargue aims to cultivate in students a capacity to see the DDJ from the point of view of its many literary forms and implied interlocutors. By exploring the structures of proverbial sayings he leads students away from the tendency to take its statements too literally, a tendency that typically makes the DDJ seem more obscure and mysterious than it is. LaFargue encourages students to ask: What “pragmatic implications” of the DDJ's statements can we reasonably attribute to the early Daoist practitioners who both produced and made use of this text? This leads to a historicist understanding of the DDJ that is rooted in questions quite different from those that a contemporary western reader would typically bring to the text.

Keywords:   Daode jing, Tao Te Ching, Laozi, Lao Tzu, Daoism, Taoism, Chinese religion, Daoist practice, hermeneutics, literary forms

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