Template talk:Taoism

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Template created[edit]

As with most things on WP, this template is a work in progress. The content of the template is mostly taken from its Chinese version. Many of the links on the template are still red. Most of them have existing Chinese versions. They need to be translated and sourced. Here's a list of the redlinked items and their corresponding Chinese-language articles (if one exists).

Hong Qi Gong (Talk - Contribs) 02:18, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

School names[edit]

I added some school names of schools. Also, the 'true oneness school' is actually an extension of the Celestial Master school, so I will try and integrate something about zhengyi dao into the Celestial Master article. Also, I think that we should translate according how the term is translated in scholarly works. For example, Shangqing is not translated in scholarly works (I think due to a disagreement in translations - there are two in the article). Therefore, we should leave it as is as Shangqing. De(德) does not need to be translated, as it is the term used in English. In scholarly texts, the only school name that has been translated consistently is the Celestial Master school. Therefore it should remain in English.Zeus1234 03:07, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

That really depends on what sources you're using. "Way of the Celestial Master" actually gets less google hits[1] than "Complete Perfection School"[2]. I suggest we use the same format to name these sects. Hong Qi Gong (Talk - Contribs) 03:22, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Yes but compare 'Tianshi Dao' to 'Celestial Master.'[3] None of the scholarly English language sources say 'tianshi dao' they all use variants of 'Celestial Master.' Therefore, I will change the article name back. Look at sources such as:
  • Early Daoist Scriptures [4]
  • Taoism: Growth of a Religion[5]
  • The Daoism Handbook[6]
Every one of these sources uses 'Celestial Masters' and not 'Tianshi.' It is important we name articles by the name that is used the most often in books and aritcles. As I said earlier, 'Celestial Master' is an exception to the other Daoist schools in the fact that it is translated in English language sources. All the other schools should remain unstranslated. You can also see this from the sources I listed, in particular, The Daoism Handbook and Taoism: Growth of a Religion.Zeus1234 05:40, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

I translated the last section of the template, but I can't translate the articles from Chinese very well due to my subpar Chinese skills, so that is all I can do.Zeus1234 05:57, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

The second source you linked up, on page two, refers to the school as "Tianshi (Celestial Masters) church". The third source you linked up refers to the school by both names.
  • Taoism: The Enduring Tradition[7] (refers to the school as "T'ien-shih")
  • Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of World Religions[8] ("T'ien-shih")
  • The Texts of Early Heavenly Master Taoism[9]("Tianshi Dao")
  • china.org.cn[10] ("Tianshi Dao")
Most sources seem to mention both names. I think we should use the same format to be less confusing. Hong Qi Gong (Talk - Contribs) 06:40, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Yes, my sources do use Tianshi - but only very briefly and as a translation! The first source clearly uses Celestial Master. The second uses it three times total , and then on page 53 has a chapter named 'The Celestial Masters,' and uses Celestial Master thereafter. In the two chapters specifically about the Celestial Masters in the third source, the names of the chapters are 'Northern Celestial Masters' and 'Southern Celestial Masters,' and each chapter refers to 'Tianshi' once in brackets.

Your sources

  • Taoism: The Enduring Tradition: From a review at http://www.daoiststudies.org/review.kirkland.php "Minor quibbles include the editorial decision to dispense with Chinese graphs, even for personal names or book titles, not including HY numbers for texts inculded in the Daozang, and the use of different renderings for the same Chinese terms (e.g. Heavenly Masters, Celestial Masters and T’ien-shi)."
  • Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of World Religions: Briefly mentions both terms in the same breadth
  • The Texts of Early Heavenly Master Taoism: Admittedly this does contain a great deal of references to 'Tianshi Dao,' however the works were not published.
  • I can't access the last website

Every single one of the scholarly books I have consulted on this topic that have been published in the last fifteen years use some iteration 'Celestial Master' in preference over 'Tianshi Dao' (with the exception of the first example you found- which uses both terms interchangably). Further sources to look at include.

  • The Taoist Body [11]
  • The Taoist Experience [12]

If you also looked at the google comparison you will see that 'Celestial Master' has 863 hits whereas 'Tianshi Dao' has 191. It seems overwhelmingly clear that 'Celestial Master' is preferred over 'Tianshi Dao.'

Since you do have a point in saying that the titles should be in the same format, why don't we come to a compromise? In the template box we use 'Tianshi,' but the name of the article stays 'Way of the Celestial Master.' This way, the format is the same, but we can use the more common term in scholarly literature for the name of the article. I hope that this is acceptable to you.Zeus1234 07:33, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

The problem with a google search on "Celestial Master" is that most of the search results actually refer to the Celestial Masters themselves like Zhang Daoling and Zhang Jixian, not the school. "Celestial Master School" only yields 9 search results[13]. "Way of the Celestial Master" only yields 49 search results[14]. "Tianshi Dao", on the other hand, yields 1,920 search results[15]. Hong Qi Gong (Talk - Contribs) 07:42, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

I disagree with you that that the distinction is important here are some quotes describing the Celestial Masters:
  • From Robinet: "In fact, the primary skill and main function, of the Celestial Master priests was their.... (p.58)
  • Great Clarity by Pregadio (2006 and not on Google Books), is a recent example of scholarship, and he in fact uses 'Way of the Celestial Master' - in every instance
  • From The Daoism Handbook: "This situation caused the Northern Celestial Masters, in the fifth and sisth centuries, to bring forth the first form of Daoist state religion..." (p. 284)
The scholarly concensus on the matter is clear: Celestial Master is the preferred term. It can be used not only to refer to the masters themselves, but is also used to refer to the school. Google Books will tell you this, as will other sholarly books. So if you look at the google search for 'Celestial master'[16] you get a whopping 1.27 million results. Unfortunately 'Tianshi dao' [17] gives only 10,100 results - less than one percent the amount of the other search. It is inconceivable to think that even 95% of the search results of 'Celestial Master' refers to the master himself. From the quotes listed, and by looking in the scholarly works, it seems very clear that while 'Celestial Master' describes the head of the church, it also describes the movement itself.Zeus1234 08:02, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

From the Wikipedia page Naming Conventions [18]:

"Generally, article naming should give priority to what the majority of English speakers would most easily recognize, with a reasonable minimum of ambiguity, while at the same time making linking to those articles easy and second nature."

Note the 'English speakers' part that is bolded. Clearly English speakers are more familiar with the term 'Celestial Master' than with 'Tianshi Dao.' Zeus1234 08:10, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Actually, you need to put quotes around your google search terms, otherwise, you'd be searching for pages with either "Celestial" or "Master". Here's the real search for "Celestial Master"[19], and it returns 9,810 search results. And, even searching for the term correctly, Google returned results that are completely unrelated to Daoism. Here are a few examples:[20][21][22][23].
But it still remains that "Celestial Master School" and "Way of the Celestial Master" hardly returns any results. So "Tianshi Dao" really is the more common term, even in English. Hong Qi Gong (Talk - Contribs) 08:15, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

By moving the page you have broken every single one of the links to the article, and gone against the scholarly consensus of recently published material.

Google Books

  • Tianshi Dao = 27 google books search results [24]
  • Tianshi School = 0 google books search results [25]
  • Celestial Masters = 151 google books search results [26]
  • Celestial Master = 227 google books search results [27]
  • Way of the Celestial Master = 17 google books search results [28]
  • Way of the Celestial Masters = 23 google books search results [29]
  • Tianshi Dao = 1930 results [30]
  • Tianshi School = 3 results [31]
  • Way of the Celestial Master = 322 results [32]
  • Way of the Celestial Masters = 533 results [33]
  • Celestial Masters = 13400 results [34]

Because 'Celestial Masters' is the pluralized form of 'Way of the Celestial Master' and you don't usually say 'adherents of the way of the celestial master,' but rather 'celestial masters,' it seems clear that it is in fact the more common term.

Also, I am recopying this from out other discussion:

From the Wikipedia page Naming Conventions [35]:

"Generally, article naming should give priority to what the majority of English speakers would most easily recognize, with a reasonable minimum of ambiguity, while at the same time making linking to those articles easy and second nature."

Note the 'English speakers' part that is bolded. Clearly English speakers are more familiar with the term 'Celestial Master' than with 'Tianshi Dao.' Zeus1234 17:28, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Once again, "Celestial Master" usually refers to the people called such, and not the school. "Celestial Master" is a title and a noun, while "Way of the Celestial Master" is the proper name for a school. Also, once again, Google searches for "Celestial Master" are wholly inaccurate as they return results that are completely unrelated to Daoism. Again, here're a few examples:[36][37][38][39]. Hong Qi Gong (Talk - Contribs) 17:40, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

You searched 'Celestial Master' and not 'Celestial Masters' (plural), which is the word that refers to the school. It took me until page 5 of this search to find something that didnt refer to the Daoist Celestial Masters. I agree that Celestial master is not an accurate search term, which is why I didnt include it in my google search summary (only the book search).Zeus1234 18:01, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Actually, I just looked into the Celestial Master search as well, and the vast majority of the search terms still refer to the Daoist sect, suppose we removed half of those search results, we would still be looking at over 6000 searches compared to only 1930 for Tianshi dao. The same would apply to 'Celestial Masters.'Zeus1234 18:05, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
My argument is that because 'Celestial Masters' is a derivative of 'Way of the Celestial Master' and because when combined, the two terms obviously have more usage than 'Tianshi Dao,' that the article should be named 'Way of the Celestial Master.' English speakers are simply not as familiar with 'Tianshi Dao.' Because of this, the article should be named in a way that is most familiar to English speakers a per the wikipedia guidelines. Books don't use Tianshi Dao to refer to the school, and then start saying 'Celestial Masters,' they use one or the other. Since 'Celestial Master' is far more prevalent in English, the name of the article should be a derivative of this. Zeus1234 18:09, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
So you agree that a Google search for "Celestial Masters" (plural) is also inaccurate then. Here are a few examples of Google searches for "Celestial Masters" that have nothing to do with Daoism[40][41][42][43]. We can only rely on searches for "Way of the Celestial Master" or "Way of the Celestial Masters". Both of which yield very little results compared to "Tianshi Dao". So in fact, "Tianshi Dao" is more prevalent in English. Hong Qi Gong (Talk - Contribs) 18:13, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

I completely disagree with your assertion that we can only rely on 'Way of the Celestial Master.' If you actually looked at the majority of the search results, you would see that they are almost all referring to the Daoist sect. I pointed out that if the search was only 50% accurate, it would still dwarf the amount of 'Tianshi Dao' search results. I would argue that about 75% of the search results refer to the Daoists, which you can arrive at just by looking at the search results, even on late pages such as 20. In fact if you go all the way to late pages of 'Tianshi Dao,' many of them are not even in English such as [44] and [45] and some of them dont refer to the sect such as [46] and [47]. In fact it appears as though 'Tianshi Dao' is the name of Chinese nutrition website. This would discount many of the search results.

Also, you chose to conveniently ignore the google book search I posted which clearly favors Celestial Master and its derivatives over 'tianshi dao.' These search results cannot be as easily discounted.

It seems to me that Way of the Celestial Masters is the most appropriate way to refer to Tianshi dao in English.

"Tianshi" literally means "Celestial Master" or "Heavenly Master". "Dao" of course is usually translated as "Way".

The name Tianshi, however, is somewhat ambiguous. As regards Tianshi dao, it may refer to:

(1) The first Tianshi, i.e., Zhang Daoling (2nd century CE)

(2) The current Tianshi at (almost) any time in Chinese history

(3) The entire series of sixty-four Tianshi (from the 2nd century to the present day)

In (1) and (2), one might translate "Way of the Celestial Master" -- i.e., the "Way" originated by Zhang Daoling, or the "Way" presided over by those who later held the title of Tianshi.

However, there seems to be a general consensus among scholars that Tianshi dao refers to the entire tradition represented by all Tianshi. In this sense, "Way of the Celestial Masters" (plural) is the most accurate translation.

Scholars also say, in a more informal way, "the Celestial Masters" to mean Tianshi dao, or "the Way of the Celestial Masters".

Few scholars, instead, would refer to Tianshi dao as "Tianshi School", except as a passing reference which they would not take as a literal translation. (Many scholars would also object to the use of "school" in this context, but we can leave this discussion for another day.)

As for Zhengyi, it is the same as Tianshi dao. There is a tendency, however, to use Zhengyi instead of Tianshi dao from the Song period onward, or approximately for the last millennium.

Translating "Zhengyi" in a satisfying way into English is much more problematic than translating "Tianshi dao". "Zheng" means "correct" in the sense of "orthodox" (usually not with reference to some weird heresy, but to the beliefs and rites of folk religion, from which Taoism always tries to differentiate itself). "Yi" literally means "one", but in this context could be rendered by "unity". Therefore Zhengyi might be translated as "Orthodox Unity". Xuanyingzi 07:57, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Finally someone agrees with me! I'm going to propose a move for the article again very soon.Zeus1234 13:29, 9 January 2007 (UTC)


Why does Taiping direct to Yellow Turban Rebellion, a rebellion related to the text.--Redtigerxyz (talk) 12:55, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

The Taiping is basically the chinese name for the movement of the yellow turbans. I changed the link to Yellow Turban to make it clearer. Zeus1234 (talk) 17:37, 13 February 2008 (UTC)


Sexual practices taken out of fundamentals, suggest to group as AOB or Peculiar Taoist subjects, note historically this subject was perpetrated by pseudo-daoshi to broadden appeal of Taoism, which was factual up to a point. Schools of Taoism should also be modified. ACHKC (talk) 01:33, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

The Taoism articles are a mess at the moment anyway; I don't think it really matters what is on the template due to the universal poor quality of the articles. Change it if you think it needs changing.Zeus1234 (talk) 11:45, 25 February 2008 (UTC)


I noticed that Template:Buddhism infobox has a "[hide]" function. Does anyone know enough Javascript to include it here? Thanks Keahapana (talk) 00:14, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

I noticed that too when I was making the template, and looking at other templates to emulate. I tried to keep the template small, but people kept adding stuff to it. It could simply be culled, and many of the items excised. Zeus1234 (talk) 05:03, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
As the [hide] function has been lost in the conversion to a standardised template form, I've created {{Taoism condensed}} as an alternative to this template for articles with space limitations. Skomorokh 01:57, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

Adding "tzu-jan" to fundamentals[edit]

I plan to create an article for "tzu-jan" and add it to the fundamentals on this Template, following Alan Watts' "Tao: The Watercourse Way" as my starting point. Any thoughts, suggestions, criticisms? I haven't edited a template before but I assume I would edit it the same way I would an article. Thanks in advance. Msalt (talk) 18:02, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

It turns out there is already a page under the alternate spelling "ziran", which I was not familiar with. Any objection to me adding it to this template? Or thoughts about which transliteration to list it under? Msalt (talk) 01:26, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
Use Pinyin and keep the 'Ziran' spelling. Wade-Giles should only be used for 'Tao' and its derivatives. Zeus1234 (talk) 03:39, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

Lead image[edit]

I have changed the lead image from Taoism to Taoism

This was done for several reasons.

  1. Traditionally, the ying yang symbol is white and black, signifying empty and full. It is not colored, as that would imply that not all colors are there, and that some colors are better than others, which contradicts the neutrality and balance of the ying yang symbol.
  2. Also traditionally,the black and white are side by side, not top and bottom, as they are equal and balanced. Having one on top of the other implies that one is 'better' or dominates the other. Again, this violates the principle of balance that the ying yang symbol is trying to convey.
  3. And, the ying yang symbol is flat, not '3-D', this is incongruous with the time that the ying yang symbol dates from. Using the golden 3-D symbol for ying yang, is as jarring as using a rainbow colored cross that rotates with a 3-D effect for the main symbol of Christianity.
  4. Lastly, the symbol should be an SVG file, such as the one that I have replaced it with.

LK (talk) 15:54, 26 July 2009 (UTC)