Date of Award
Master of Arts
Dr. Miriam Levering
Dr. Mark Hulsether, Dr. Rachelle Scott
This thesis explores the phenomenon of American Daoism. It assumes that American Daoism is a New Religious Movement, and argues that it has roots in counterhegemonic religious movements of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. I will explore these roots and describe how they are counter-hegemonic. Furthermore, I will build upon Elijiah Siegler’s doctoral dissertation, “The Dao of America: The History and Practice of American Daoism,” by using post-modern theories of identity to discuss how American Daoist identity is formed. This thesis argues that American Daoist identity is a combination of Chinese and American cultural objects that form a hybrid religious identity.
American Daoism has largely been influenced by globalization and consumer culture. I will argue that there is some degree of commodification in American Daoism. The process of commodification is not negative, rather it facilitates American Daoism’s spread into new markets. I also discuss the negative aspects of commodification in relation to Daoism, and the problems encountered when differentiating between the two.
Chan, Steven San-Hu, "American Daoism: A New Religious Movement in Global Contexts. " Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee, 2008.