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This book explores the beliefs and practices of the Quanzhen (Complete Realization)
School of the Taoist religion during its founding phases in the late
twelfth and early thirteenth centuries. The Quanzhen School is a living tradition.
It is the dominant school of monastic Taoism in the People’s Republic
of China, and numerous non-monastic Taoist temples and organizations
in southern China, Taiwan, and other countries claim an affiliation with
the Quanzhen tradition as well.1 The emergence and rapid growth of the
Quanzhen School during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries has frequently
been cited as a pivotal event in the history of Taoism. Quanzhen Taoism in
its doctrinal content has been described as the foremost representative of a
“new Taoist religion” (xin daojiao) that in very fundamental ways differed from
the “old Taoist religion” ( jiu daojiao).

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