Taoism Through Tai Chi Chuan: Physical Culture as Religious or Holistic Spirituality?
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The discipline of Tai Chi, rooted in the Taoist tradition, has much to show us about the development of spirituality through movement. This chapter outlines an alternative perspective on relationships between religious and holistic spirituality that emerge from an examination of Tai Chi Chuan, the popular martial and health promoting art and its connections with Taoism, the Chinese religio-philosophical movement. Sociological understandings of spirituality tend to be polarised as a binary opposition between, on the one hand religious spirituality associated with established institutionalised religions such as Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Buddhism and, on the other, so called holistic spirituality which is assumed to be un or disconnected with any established religion, its congregational activity and core doctrines. This chapter challenges such a binary view on the grounds that it is informed by and defends Western materialistic dualist perspectives of spirituality and religion. Alternatively, it is argued, that Tai Chi Chuan is a case example of a living and evolving art form that intermingles religious and holistic forms of spirituality without contradiction even though it is a self-contained spiritual activity.
Spirituality across Disciplines: Research and Practice;
Brown D. (2016) Taoism Through Tai Chi Chuan: Physical Culture as Religious or Holistic Spirituality?. In: de Souza M., Bone J., Watson J. (eds) Spirituality across Disciplines: Research and Practice:. Springer, Cham. pp. 317-328
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