Studies in Medieval Taoism and the Poetry of Li Po: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Studies in Medieval Taoism and the Poetry of Li Po

1st Edition

By Paul W. Kroll


374 pages

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Hardback: 9780754659891
pub: 2009-06-28
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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.

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Taoist Studies: On Far Roaming; In the halls of the Azure Lad; Spreading open the barrier of Heaven; The light of Heaven in medieval Taoist verse; The divine songs of the Lady of Purple Tenuity; Szu-ma Ch'eng-chen in T'ang verse; Notes on three Taoist figures of the T'ang dynasty. Lo Po Studies: Li Po's Rhapsody on the Great P'eng Bird; Li Po's transcendent diction; Li Po's purple haze; The road to Shu, from Zhang Zai to Li Bo; Dharma bell and dharani pillar: Li Po's Buddhist inscriptions; Index.

About the Author

Paul W. Kroll is Professor of Chinese in the Dept. of East Asian Languages & Civilizations, University of Colorado, USA and the editor of the Journal of the American Oriental Society.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General