Taoist Sects and Schools

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There are no formal sects within Taoism, but scholars have identified two distinctive approaches to the Taoist traditions, labeled "Religious Taoism" and "Philosophical Taoism" and described below.

It should be noted, however, that the assumptions on which this division rests (eg. the difference between philosophy and religion) are foreign to classical Chinese thought, and are unlikely to have been held by individual Taoist thinkers.

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Tao-chaio (Daojiao)

Religious Taoism is not a belief-centered religion, and there are no known Taoist creeds. At the same time, certain characteristic beliefs or assumptions can be identified...

Tao-chia (Daojia)

Philosophical Taoism does not refer to an actual Taoist school or group of philosophers. Rather, it is a way of reading Taoist texts and interpreting them in philosophical terms...

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