James Hills Ancient History 12.01
Analysis of Sources
1. Taoism: The quest for immortality (John Blofeld)
This book is obviously a secondary source although it references some primary sources mainly the Tao Te Ching. The author of the book is a published author and therefore it can be assumed that the information inside is relatively accurate as a secondary source can get. The only possibility of bias is that the author is a follower of another religion, even so the bias will be minimal.
2. World Religious Reference Library
This source is a secondary source which contains references to primary sources. The book is written by a multitude of authors and as so the bias should be minimized as each would review each others writing. The information will be as accurate as a secondary source can be
3. Tao Te Ching
This source was authored by Lao-Tzu himself and therefore is a primary source. The source outlines the practices of Taoism and offers explanation. The only bias and innacuracies of information possible in this source is through translation error as the original source was in chinese.
4. “Taoism” (plato.stanford.edu/entries/taoism/)
Secondary source. Is highly reliable due to the publisher being the world renowned Stanford university. Only bias possible is Author Bias which when writing for a prestigious institution as Stanford the bias will be as minimal as possible to raise the standard of work.
5. ‘Taoism’ (http://www.religioustolerance.org/taoism.htm) Secondary source. Reliability of source is questionable due to lack of references and primary sources present in the text. Author Bias is unknown but possible. 6. Introducing eastern philosophy
The author of the text has been published previously which lends authenticity to the text. Bias is unlikely due to the text being published but possible. Source is a secondary source.
7. Religions of ancient china
Secondary source as the text is written centuries after events happened. Reliable text as it has been published and the author has published other texts before. Experienced author so the Bias should be minimal but cannot be ruled out completely. 8. Taoism Influences(http://www.patheos.com/Library/Taoism/Origins/Influences.html) Secondary source. Unreliable because author is not published. Has not referenced any sources. Bias is unknown, could be large but also could be minimal.
Taoism is an ancient Chinese religion that was once unique to a small section of China. For roughly 2000 years Taoism existed mainly in China as an organized ever evolving religion. In the current era Taoism has gained worldwide renown and is now associated with other worldwide religions such as Christianity. It is impossible to accurately Taoism was practised prolifically widely within China by all levels of society. It was inevitable that some central ideas would permeate through to the daily lives of many Chinese and influence things beyond Imagination. It is observable that the structure of what was imperial china mirrors the structure that Taoism had incorporated into itself. The influence of Taoism is evident in both high society and everyday life. Taoism did not start as a religion but rather a philosophy, a method of seeking knowledge and wisdom. It is accepted that the founder of Taoism is a man called Lao-tzu. Lao-tzu is the author of the most sacred text of the Taoist religion, the Tao Te Ching written in approximately 300BCE but the accepted historical date can range from the 3rd to the 5th century BCE. Lao-tzu himself is a man mixed in myths and legends. Some sources say that his mother carried him in her womb for 72years (Lucky Chinese number) and he emerged a fully grown old wise man. It is for this reason and that Lao-tzu laid down the basic principles of Taoism in the Dao te ching that he is widely considered to be the first god of Taoism. Taoism itself does not have a strict structure, it is a flexible ever...
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