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The Ming Prince and DaoismInstitutional Patronage of an Elite$
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Richard G. Wang

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199767687

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199767687.001.0001

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Cultivation and Books

Cultivation and Books

(p.61) 4 Cultivation and Books
The Ming Prince and Daoism

Richard G. Wang

Oxford University Press

Chapter 4 explores the interaction between Ming princes’ self-cultivation and their making and consumption of Daoist books as material culture in the context of Ming print culture. Some princes practiced Daoist self-cultivation techniques. Like self-cultivation, writing books on Daoism was an inherent element of the princes’ Daoist identity and cultivation. Through cultivation as well as production and consumption of books, many Ming princes became very closely involved in Daoist cultural life. The examples include the Ning Principality and Zhu Zaiwei’s compiling activities. Furthermore, the princely holding of Daozang was significant in that it indicates the extent of the circulation of Daozang in Ming society. In terms of readership, the Daoist books the Ming princes produced were aimed at the emperor, their imperial relatives, and literati friends. Sometimes they gave these books to Daoist institutions due to their faith. Occasionally, some princely establishments printed Daoist books for charities.

Keywords:   neidan, waidan, cultivation, print culture, book production, book consumption, stele texts, Daozang, Daoist canonical supplements, princely imprints

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