Kou Qianzhi

Kou Qianzhi
or K'ou Ch'ien-chih

died AD 448, Northern Wei empire, China

Chinese Daoist reformer.

He probably began his career as a Daoist physician. In 415 he had a vision telling him that Daoism had been perverted by false teachings. He began to curb the orgiastic practices and mercenary spirit that had become associated with Daoism and to emphasize hygienic ritual and good works. His efforts won notice from the emperor and led to the establishment of Daoism as the state religion of China's Northern Wei dynasty. He also succeeded in having Buddhism proscribed and its adherents subjected to persecution. His reforms proved transitory, however, and Buddhism soon experienced a resurgence.

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Universalium. 2010.

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