Disgusting vegetables: Wuxin taboo in Daoist prescription’s texts




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Costantini, Filippo

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Precepts and taboos play a central role in the systematization of Daoist communities. On this set of rules hinges the development of various Daoist movements and the establishment of different Daoist schools. In this article, I investigate the proscriptions about the five pungent vegetables (wuxin 五辛 or wuhun 五葷, allium vegetables) consumption in Daoist early medieval prescription’s texts. Whereas previous scholarship has analyzed the influence of Buddhism in Daoist monastic rules, this paper turns the attention to the way in which the five pungent vegetables taboo was elaborated in Daoist discourse, especially in texts from the early medieval era. It argues that in Daoist prescription’s texts, the allium vegetables taboo is supported and justified by the aversive emotion of disgust. By describing the five pungent vegetables as polluted, defiled and even dangerous items, Daoist texts construct the perfect condition for their repulsion and the taboo's final systematization


Palabras clave

Daoism, Food taboos, Early medieval China, Disgust, PHILOSOPHY, RELIGION, CHINA