The Three Wise Men


Fieldwork reports on local Daoist ritual continue to amass. Note the growing series Daojiao yishi congshu 道教儀式叢書.

In my book I described the main instigators of this impressive movement—C.K. Wang, John Lagerwey, and Lü Pengzhi—as a “holy trinity”. Then I thought maybe that should be the Three Pure Ones (Sanqing 三清)—but actually (since they are not so much objects of veneration as witnesses to marvels), a better metaphor might be the Three Wise Men:

“…Creeping around a cow shed at two o’clock in the morning? Doesn’t sound very wise to me…”
“We were led by a star!”
“Led by a bottle, more like!”

(Sorry, can’t help it…)

Now I’m wondering if they had a list, perhaps from Fortnum and Mason—how embarrassing if they’d all brought myrrh. “Sorry, your choice is already taken, please choose gold”.

For related irreverence, see Jesus jokes.

8 thoughts on “The Three Wise Men

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