Religion Past and Present

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(429 words)

[German Version]

Internal alchemy (neidan) is seen as a further development of external alchemy (III; waidan) and forms an integral part of religious Taoism. In the periods preceding the common era, but also later, external alchemy was linked to costly experiments in search of the medicine of immortality. Emperors of the early and following periods (Qin Shihuangdi), as well as the upper echelons of society, were interested and involved. Preparation and consumption of the drugs not only required essences that w…

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Reiter, Florian C., “Neidan”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 03 December 2021 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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