April 14, 2012

God and the Dao, Part I

When discussing a comparison of Daoism and Christianity, one question that inevitably comes up is "what is the relationship between God and the Dao?" One simple definition, if you subscribe to most New Age theories, is that they are one and the same, just two different words for the same thing. I disagree with this. It is both simplistic and inaccurate. It is easy to make this assumption, however, since in Christianity God is the most important thing. In Daoism, the various gods don't achieve the same level of importance. Not all Daoists even believe in all the gods (the Daoist gods are somewhat analogous to Catholic saints, though not exactly). What all Daoists do believe in is the Dao. Therefore, someone can't be blamed for initially assuming that God equates to the Dao.