Research Project


The Sinification of Western Astrology from the Aspect of the Taoist Canon

Wen Zhao

The Lingtai Jing (靈臺經, DZ 288) in the Taoist canon, Zhengtong Daozang (正統道藏), contains several Hellenistic astrological features. This study will address two main questions: (1) what is the origin of Lingtai Jing and its relationship with other similar sources? (2) how was it introduced into the Taoist canon? Correspondingly, my work is divided into two parts: the first comprises an annotated English translation of Lingtai Jing, based on a comparison with other relevant sources, such as Dorotheus' work; while the second a historical study of the relationship between astrology and Taoist ritual practice. Notably, the contents of the divination technique reflected in Duli yusi jing (都利聿斯經) and in Dunhuang manuscript P. 4071 are relatively similar to Lingtai Jing. This work, or the technique to which it refers, is quoted by certain Southern Song Taoist ritual texts as well as the large collections of astrological treatises from the Ming Dynasty.

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