Lecture by Donald J. Harper – The Seat of Grand One (Taiyi) and New Light on an Old Problem: How Did Daoist Religion Happen?

November 5, 2015 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm America/Los Angeles Timezone
McCune Conference Room (HSSB 6020)
Humanities and Social Sciences Building
Goleta, CA 93117
Dominic Steavu

At the apex of the spirit world scene painted on the west wall inside the Eastern Han
tomb at Haotan 郝灘, Shaanxi, is an elaborately executed zuo 坐 “seat” with the
graphs Taiyi zuo 大一坐 “seat of Grand One” written in the upper part. The same
divine seat recurs in the contemporary tomb at Yangqiaopan 楊橋畔, Shaanxi, but
unlabeled. The murals open new lines of speculation on the religious ideas
and practices of people throughout the Han realm in the first two centuries of the
Common Era, and necessitate renewed investigation of the emergence of Daoist
religion from Han common religion.

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Co-sponsored with UCSB Confucius Institute and East Asia Center.