Article Info

published: 9/3/04
updated: 12/16/04

Taoism Timeline

c. 550 BCE Taoism founded; Tao-Te Ching written by Lao Tze.
c. 350 BCE Chuang-Tzu further develops Taoist philosophy.
c. 150 BCE Immortality Taoism develops; Taiping Jing is compiled.
142 CE Zhang Ling founds the sect of the Way of Five Bushels of Rice.
155-220 CE Zhang Lu organizes the Way of Five Bushels of Rice into religious communities, which become known as Taoism of Heavenly Masters.
226-249 Wang Bi introduces Taoist concepts into Confucian learning.
251-334 Wei Huacun is the first female leader of the Shangqing sect.
c. 320 Ge Hong (283-363) writes The Master Who Has Embraced Simplicity.
365-448 Kou Qianzhi revives Taoism of Heavenly Masters.
456-536 Tao Hongjing develops the Shangqing school.
618-626 Emperor Gaozu builds a great temple at the birthplace of Lao-Tze.
637 Emperor Taizong (r. 626-649) issues an edict ensuring that Taoists take precedence over Buddhists.
691 Empress Wu, a Buddhist, reverses Taizong's policy and builds Buddhist temples.
712-756 Rule of Taoist Emperor Xuanzong. Questions on Taoist texts become a feature of civil service examinations.
768-824 Emperor Han Yu opposes Buddhism.
845 Emperor Wu-zong persecutes Buddhists and all other non-Taoist religions.
960-1279 During the Song dynasty, Perfect Truth Taoism and Orthodox One Taoism arise and the Taoist canon is edited.
16th C. San yi Jiao (Three-in-One Religion) is founded by Lin Zhaoen (1517-98) as a synthesis of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism.
1584 Temple of the Three-in-One Religion is built.
1644-1911 During the Manchu Qing dynasty, new movements are founded within Taoism, Buddhism and Christianity in China. The Three-in-One Religion is persecuted.
1851 Hong Xiuquan founds the Heavenly Kingdom of Great Peace movement based on Christian ideas.
late 19th C. Violent clashes between Christian missionaries and the Chinese people.
1912 China becomes a republic.
1919 The Fourth of May movement is founded and seeks to stamp out religion using science.
1920s-30s National Taoist organizations are founded.
1928 Taoist and Buddhist temples are dismantled.
1950s Religions are tightly controlled by the Chinese government.

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