1. What is Tao?
A.) Taoism or Daoism (pronounced DOW-ism) is a "philosophical and religious tradition that originated in China." Taoism is one of two major philosophical/religious systems to originate in China, with the other being Confucianism. Both of these religions also began about the same time, around 500 to 400 BCE.
2. What is jiao?
A.) Jiao means "offering" and at a basic level, the ritual involves offering food and wine at the altar in a family's home. Yet jiao can also be more elaborate and when this occurs, it is really a ritual program, with many smaller actions, than a single ritual. Jiao, in this sense, can include a community festival, where priests participate in the rituals. Typically, the priests and community leaders engage in the ritual, while community members enjoy the festival.
3. Who are the Eight Immortals?
A.) The Eight Immortals are another group in the Taoist pantheon of gods. These eight gods are believed to be able to fly, disappear, and use magic. They are thought to help individuals with things like illnesses, money issues, and desires for long life. The images of these Eight Immortals are found throughout China, including in Taoist temples and painted on walls.
4. What are yin and yang?
A.) In Chinese thought, yin and yang are two contrary or opposite forces that are interconnected. They exist only in relation to each other. So, the "shady side of the hill" cannot exist without "the sunny side."
Critical Thinking Questions
1. Choose one other religion and compare and contrast the religion to Taoism. What are the differences between Taoism and the religion you chose? What are the similarities?
A.) I would say that this is a very similar to Buddhism. They both stand for the same thing. To love and to be good to one another. This actually compares to many different religions if you decide to compare that.
2. What is the controversy over the use of the terms Taoism or Daoism?
A.) The controversy over the transcription is not so much which is wrong, but which one most approximates the Chinese language. The pronunciation in Chinese of the word is very difficult for most English speakers who