In Der Spiegel, Andreas Lorenz writes about the history of Taoism and its continued influence over life in China:
The cradle of Taoism, one of China’s key religions, can be found 40 miles northwest of Chengdu, a city of 1 million in Sichuan province. It was Mount Qingcheng that the celestial master Zhang Daoling chose as the center of his mysterious empire.
Some 1,900 years ago, he founded the religious group that would become a central pillar of Chinese life and culture. The roots of this community have embedded themselves deeply into the Chinese mindset, shaping the thoughts and actions of hundreds of millions; even China’s 57 years of communist rule could not curb its popularity. Today, non-Taoists too adopt the principles that the aged Zhang espoused in the land of the Giant Panda. [Full text]