What is it about?

This paper discusses a short early medieval Daoist text, the Huming miaojing (DZ 19), together with its Daoist and Buddhist forerunners (DZ 356 and P 1326). These texts all purport to be revealed in heaven, and therefore access to the socio-historical background seems almost impossible. This paper employs a strategy based on the concept of the intended reader, borrowed from hermeneutic literary criticism, as well as analytical tools borrowed from marketing analysis to illuminate the question of the intended readers, and thus also a part of the socio-historical background, of the texts discussed.

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Why is it important?

The Daoist Huming miaojing, while of a rather unclear providence, is an important item in the liturgy of Longmen Daoism until this very day. Furthermore the paper proposes a methodology of applying the hermeneutic concept of the intended reader to the study of Daoist texts of unclear provenance, which could be used also for other cases of the many Daoist texts, where the time and socio-historical background of composition remain unclear.

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This page is a summary of: Early Medieval Daoist Texts: Strategies of Reading And Fusion of Horizons, Journal of Chinese Philosophy, February 2010, Brill,
DOI: 10.1163/15406253-03703004.
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