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Taoism Fast Facts


20 million specifically of Taoism (Chinese religion contains Taoist elements)

Major Branches

Religious Taoism (Daojiao) and Philosophical Taoism (Daojia)


Pantheism - the Tao pervades all. Yin-yang - opposites make up a unity.


General attitude of detachment and non-struggle, "go with the flow" of the Tao. Tai-chi, acupuncture, and alchemy to help longevity.


Kojiki (Records of Ancient Matters); Nihon-gi (Chronicles of Japan)

Taoism Overview

Taoism (also spelled Daoism) is based on the teachings of the Tao Te Ching, a short tract written in the 6th century BCE in China.

Taoism emphasizes spiritual harmony within the individual, complementing Confucianism's focus on social duty. The two great Chinese belief systems were founded at about the same time and continue to exist side-by-side in today's China.

There are two main schools within Taoism, usually called "philosophical Taoism" (Tao-chia) and "religious Taoism" (Tao-chaio). The two are not as strongly distinguished as once thought, but philosophical Taoism tends to focus on the philosophical writings of Lao-Tzu, Chuang-Tzu and other early mystics while religious Taoism emphasizes religious rituals aimed at attaining immortality.

There are 20 million Taoists worldwide, most of whom live in China, Taiwan or Southeast Asia. Taoism is also increasingly influential in the West, especially in the fields of alternative medicine and martial arts like Tai Chi.


  • "Taoism." Encyclopædia Britannica Premium Service, 2004.
  • John Bowker, ed., Oxford Concise Dictionary of World Religions (2000).
  • Xian (Daoist Immortal) - Wikipedia (Janurary 2007)
  • Taoist Beliefs

    The ancient Chinese religion of Taoism is not entirely distinct from Confucianism or Chinese folk religion, for all Chinese religion and philosophy operate within the same ancient worldview... full article →
  • Taoist Branches

    There are no formal sects within Taoism, but scholars have identified two distinctive approaches to the Taoist traditions, labeled "Religious Taoism" and "Philosophical Taoism" and described below... full article →
  • Taoist Glossary

    Definitions of terms related to Taoism. full article →
  • Taoist Texts

    Important Taoist texts include the Tao-te Ching, the Chuang-tzu and several other less famous works of Taoist philosophy. ## The Tao-te Ching The Tao-te Ching (or Dao De Jing) is the central text of both philosophical and religious Taoism... full article →
  • Taoist Timeline

    The history of Taoism at a glance. full article →

Article Info

Title Taoism
Last UpdatedNovember 22, 2016
URL www.religionfacts.com/taoism
Short URLrlft.co/1041
MLA Citation “Taoism.” ReligionFacts.com. 22 Nov. 2016. Web. Accessed 24 Feb. 2017. <www.religionfacts.com/taoism>

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