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Historical Development

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explains the early Quanzhen tradition during the Jurchen-Jin dynasty, with some reference to events under the Mongol-Yuan. The Daoist religious movement and eventual monastic order that came to be called Quanzhen originated in the solitary ascetic practice and mystical visions of Wang Zhe; zi Zhiming and hao Chongyang. Wang Chongyang was born in the village of Dawei in Xianyang, near Chang'an (present-day Xi'an, Shaanxi). His family consisted of fairly wealthy land-owners, who suffered greatly from the social and economic turmoil that occurred during the Jurchen takeover of Shaanxi in 1131. The years from 1167 to 1169, the three years of Wang Chongyang's missionary activities in Shandong, corresponded to the beginning of the incipient organized phase of Quanzhen. Wang's death in 1170 did not have a major impact on the growth and success of the Quanzhen movement in north China.

Keywords: Daoist religious movement; Jurchen-Jin dynasty; missionary activities; north China; Quanzhen tradition; Wang Chongyang



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