By the end of the course, you should be able to:
- Compare different English translations of Tao Te Ching
- Outline the central philosophical concepts of Tao Te Ching
- Identify the core values of Taoism in modern life
- Discuss the challenges and possibilities of integrating and applying Taoist wisdom to real-life situations
Week 1: Introduction to Tao Te Ching and Lao Tzu
How did the Tao Te Ching come to be written? Who is Lao Tzu? What is Tao in Chinese philosophy? How is Tao described?
Week 2: The Way; one is all
What are the basic principles in Tao Te Ching? What is “the Way of the Tao”?
Week 3: Wu Wei... no action
How do you understand “doing” and “non-doing”? How do we keep the balance between “action” and “non-action”?
Week 4: Simplicity is beauty
Are we making things too complex? What is the art of simplicity? Why is staying simple necessary? However, are things simple?
Week 5: Emptiness is full
What is the significance of being “empty”? How does the Tao Te Ching define success? What is leading by not leading? What is leading by following?
Week 6: An on-going self-transformative project
What insights have you taken from the Tao Te Ching? How do you follow the Tao? What’s next for you and Taoist wisdom?
Books, materials and resources
You will access reading material using SFU's online course management system, Canvas.