Sociology and Anthropology Vol. 3(2), pp. 122 - 135
DOI: 10.13189/sa.2015.030207
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The Spirit of Charity and Compassion in Daoist Religion


Yanxia Zhao *
Centre for Daoist Studies, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, United Kingdom

ABSTRACT

In the popularly understood sense, the concept of charity relates to an action of helping people who are in a poor or a sick situation, normally through the means of giving money or gifts. The concept was not limited in this way at its origin, however. More importantly, the concept has widened and developed to carry additional layers of meaning in recent years. This widening and developing can be seen from documents defining the term ‘charity' that are being produced by differing countries and nations. A detailed list of charitable purposes (as defined in legal terms by the UK government under the Charities Act 2011) is particularly useful in this regard. It is within these newly developed layers of meaning that Daoism has a strong role to play in charitable works, as a religion with a spirit of charity and heart of compassion. The issue then is how to apply this charitable spirit and compassionate heart of Daoism to specific charitable actions in modern age.

KEYWORDS
Daoism, Religion, Charity, Compassion, Environmentalism, Yangsheng, Health, Longevity

Cite this paper
Yanxia Zhao (2015). The Spirit of Charity and Compassion in Daoist Religion. Sociology and Anthropology, 3 , 122 - 135. doi: 10.13189/sa.2015.030207.