The Divine Feminine Tao Te Ching: A New Translation and Commentary

Rosemarie Anderson. Inner Traditions, $16.99 (160p) ISBN 978-1-64411-246-5
Anderson (Celtic Oracles), professor emerita of psychology at Sofia University, translates and delivers a fresh take on the Tao Te Ching, keeping an eye on the feminine characteristics of the text. A classical Chinese text outlining the philosophical tenets of Taoism, the Tao Te Ching, Anderson writes, features 81 linked poems that explain how to “act without acting” and “do without doing.” Anderson argues this concept of wei wu wei (or “action that is non-action”) is inherently feminine, “portrayed as the ‘mother,’ ‘virgin,’ and ‘womb of creation’ ” and driven by “tenderness and selflessness.” Some of Anderson’s evidence is persuasive—such as the many metaphors of the womb and mentions of the Tao creating life—and justify her approach of using female pronouns to identify the Tao throughout. But others seem less plausible; for example, her assertion that “the capacity to forgive and let go of grievances and excess opinions about the way things and others ought to be” is inherently feminine will strike many as questionable. While Anderson keeps her own commentary deliberately short and foregrounds the translation, the relative dearth of citations or in-depth discussion will frustrate more scholarly readers. Despite this, Anderson’s attention to detail and creative interpretations will open this ancient text to a new audience (May)
Reviewed on : 02/16/2021
Release date: 04/01/2021
Genre: Religion
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-64411-247-2
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