Yanxia Zhao

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Dr Yanxia Zhao BA, PhD

  • Professor of Chinese Studies;
  • Director of the Centre for Daoist Studies 

Tel: +44 (0) 1570 424 860
E-mail: y.zhao@uwtsd.ac.uk

As a professor of Chinese Studies and Comparative Religions, the role of Dr Yanxia Zhao is to provide teachings and researches related to Chinese philosophy and religions; to develop educational programmes for comparison of Confucianism, Daoism, Chinese Buddhism and other world religions; and to organize activities and events for promoting interfaith harmony and religious education.

As the Director of Daoist Studies, the main interest of Yanxia Zhao is the Dao of Chinese Yangsheng (Chinese Way of Nourishing Life), responsible for organizing Daoist Self Health Care and Wellbeing workshops and seminars; as well as developing educational programmes for Chinese tradition of Health Self Care for happy longevity life.  

Successfully appointed, amidst fierce competition, for the post of Associate Professor of Philosophy at the China University for Political Science in 1997, after years of teaching Marxist Philosophy, I decided to pursue my dream of continuing academic research in a new subject in a completely different culture. It was a challenge to leave my secure, prestigious and fruitful career in Beijing and an emotional wrench to depart my beloved family. However, in 1999 I arrived in the UK to study again, as an MPhil-PhD student. Here I found the academic comparisons between China and the West absolutely fascinating and discovered my passion for Daoist Philosophy and religion.

Since 2004, I have taught a wide range of modules for BA and MA students in what was then known as the University of Wales Lampeter; now University of Wales Trinity Saint David. Subject areas including Modern and Classical Chinese Language; Chinese Culture and Politics; Civilization and History of Traditional China; Chinese Mythology and Religion; Confucian Ethics; Daoist Body Philosophy; Chinese Theory and Practice of Self Health Care; and Chinese Ideas of Sustainability.  


  • BA in Philosophy (Tianjin Nankai University of China,1984);
  • Postgraduate Diploma of Philosophy (Beijing Renmin University of China, 1997),
  • Postgraduate Certificate of ‘Teaching in Higher Education’ (University of Wales Trinity Saint David, 2011),
  •  Certificate of ‘Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language (Hanban & Beijing University of Culture and Language, 2004),
  • Doctor of Philosophy (University Of Wales Lampeter, 2006).  

Fellowships and Memberships:

  • Research Fellow of the Institute of Asian Cultural Studies at the International Christian University of Japan (2013-Date)
  • Guest/Visiting Professor of  the Daoist College at Wudang Mountain (2013)
  • Member of the Global Experts Committee for Ageing Population and Longevity (2012-date)
  • Director of Global Yangsheng Association for Health and Longevity (2011-date)
  • University and College Union
  • Higher Education Association
  • International Society for Chinese Philosophy
  • British Taoist Association
  • European Association for Chinese Studies 
  • North American Philosopher Association
  • British Association for Chinese Studies
  • British Association for Religious Studies 

Teaching Modules:

Undergraduate Level:

  1. History and Civilization of Traditional China
  2. Understanding Contemporary Chinese Culture and Society
  3. Confucian Ethics
  4. Methodology toward Sustainability: Chinese Approaches
  5. Advanced Chinese 3: Supernal Stories of China
  6. Yangsheng and Daoist Body Philosophy
  7. Chinese Religion and Culture
  8. Confucianism
  9. Classical Chinese Reading
  10. Religion and Politics of Contemporary China
  11. Chinese Reading and Writing
  12. Chinese Mythology
  13. Introduction to Chinese Culture
  14. Confucianism and Daoism

Postgraduate level:

  1. Cosmology and Sexuality in Daoism
  2. Chinese Culture and Cultural Industry 

Supervision Works:

  • BA dissertations of Chinese Studies,
  • MPhil and PhD students in Chinese Studies, especially  Daoist Studies; Daoist Yangsheng (Nourishing Life) studies.

Daoist Yangsheng Self Health Care and Longevity Theories and Exercise and their potential contribution to the forthcoming ageing society

Buddhist and Confucian traditions in Yangsheng (nourishing Life)

Comparison between Chinese Religion and Christianity

Expertise developed through my research and teaching in the UK can be listed like this: The Relationship between Chinese Religion and Christianity; Chinese Religion and Philosophy in general; Ethical Relationships between Parents and Children, Husband and Wife, the Old and the Young, and between Self and Society.

My current research interests are mainly in Daoist Body Philosophy and Daoist Yangsheng Theories and Practices, including the potential impacts of Daoist Philosophy on modern society, and the implications of Daoist Self Care Exercise in the Ageing Societies. The research projects that I am current working on are: DIY Your Own Health: Daoist Yangsheng Self Care and Healthy Longevity; Why Daoism? Researches on Daoism in the West since 1970s; Daoist Yangsheng and Health Sustainability of the Ageing Society.

In the past three year, I have contribute the following public lectures to the general public in Lampeter, Brecon, Taiwan, and China, they are:

  • The Chinese Access of Self Health Care
  • What Taiwan Daoism can contribute to world Ageing Society 
  • Daoist Understanding of human Life and DIY Happy Yangsheng 
  • Dao and Qi: Daoist Cosmology and Human Body; 
  • Returning to the Nature: Daoist Understanding of Ultimate Good 
  • Daoist Way of Self Care: The Dao of Daily Life 
  • Daoist Diet and Paleolithic Lifestyle 
  • The Power of Water: Daoist Wisdom of Soft, Weak, and Non-action
  • Qi, Vital Energy and Health 
  • Balance of Yin-Yang and Daoist Medicine
  • Fengshui and Daoist Idea of Living Environment
  • The Holism of Dao: the way to an environmental ethic

In the past three years, the Centre for Daoist Studies in collaboration with the Global Yangsheng Association for Healthy Longevity have organized the following workshops:

  •  To Organize Seminar of Daoyin Yangsheng for Healing and Longevity (11th April 2014, by Professor Livia Kohn from Boston University USA)
  • To Organize a Two-Day Workshop for Daoyin Yangsheng: An Ancient Daoist Exercise for Self Healing and Longevity Cultivation (12-13 April 2014, by Professor Livia Kohn)
  • To Organize a Two-Day Workshop on Daoist Way of Self Health Care and Spiritual Transcendence (15-16th October 2013, By Abott Zhiling Meng from China Daoist Association)
  • To Organize workshop series for Daoist Yangsheng and Chinese Self Care (11 Feb- 7thJuly 2012)
    • A One Day Workshop for Tai Chi Quan
    • A One Day Workshop for Tai Chi Healing
    • The Heart of Understanding: A One-Day Workshop for Chan Buddhist Meditation
    • A One-Day Workshop for Qi Gong Healing
    • A One Day Workshop for Dao Yin Healing
    • A One Day workshop for Chinese Healing Massage (Tui Na)
  • To organize an international conference for the launch of the Centre for Daoist Studies: The Embodiment of the Dao: Daoist Yangsheng (道家养生) and the cultivation of health and vitality, at the Lampeter Campus of the University of Wales Trinity and Saint David on 23rd to 24th October 2010.

Journal Articles and contributions to edited Volumes:

  1. Yangzhu’s ‘Guiji’ Yangsheng and Its Modern Relevance, Philosophy Study, ISSN 2159-5313, March 2014, Vol. 4 No.3 pp.173-188.
  2. Co-author with Guocheng Jiao, ‘On the Historical Fate of Filial Piety and Its Original Meaning’孝的历史命运及其原始意蕴, Qilu Xuekan, 齐鲁学刊No.1, Volume 226, pp.5-10
  3. On Modernization and Globalization of Daoist Yangsheng Culture (Daojia yangsheng wenhua de xiandaihua he guojihua), in Daoist Yangsheng Cultural Studies edited by Academy of International Yangsheng Tourist Culture Studies, Shanghai Renmin Press, September 2011, pp.33-41.
  4. ‘On the Value and Glamour of Daoist Yangsheng: Thoughts after attending the Third Daoist Cultural Festival in China, published on 2nd November 2010 in Online Confucius Institute.
  5. ‘On the Modernization of the Confucian Concept of Harmony’ in Liming Wang (ed) Rising China in the Age of Globalization, 2010.
  6. ‘Confucius Education in Today's China’in Hong Fan (ed) China in the 21st Century: Culture, Politics and BusinessRoutledge,2009
  7. Jiazhi, Lunli Jiazhi yu Daode Jiazhi 价值,伦理价值与道德价值(‘Value, Ethical Value and Moral Value’), in Zhongguo Qingnian Xueyuan Xuebao, Vol.1, 1995.

Individual Authored Books:

1. Father-Son in Confucianism and Christianity: A Comparative Study of Xunzi and Paul, Brighton and Portland: Sussex Academic Press, 2007, pp.1-245

2. Zunshi, Xiaoqin Jingyou尊师,孝亲,重友 (Respect Your Teachers, Honour Your Parents and Revere Your Friends), Beijing: Zhongguo Qingnian Chubanshe (China Youth Press), 1997(won the first class prize of The Whole China Reading Books for the Youth).

3. Zhonghua Chuangtong Meide Tujie 中华传统美德图解Introduction of Chinese Traditional Virtues by Picture, Beijing: 21 Shiji Chubanshe (21st Century Press), 1996,(won the first class award of the China National Library Prize)

4. Chuantong Meide 传统美德Traditional Moral Cultivation, Beijing: Jinghua Chubanshe (Jinghua Press), 1995 (won the Third prize of the University Books Award of the Youth University for Political Science; One of the good book that was recommended to the youth by the Beijing City Government).

Co-authored Books:

1. Chinese Religion: A Contextual Approach, Co-Author with Prof. Xinzhong Yao, April 2010, published by Continuum International Publishing Group at London and New York

2. Shehui Zhuyi Qiye Wenhua Jianshe 建设社会主义企业文化(Establishing Socialist Enterprise Culture), Beijing: Zhongguo Qiye Wenhua Chubanshe , 1995.

3. ZM Lilun ZM理论 (ZM Theory), Beijing: Renmin Chubanshe (The People’s Press), 1995, (co-author, won the Second Prize of Beijing Social Science Book Award)

4. Chuantong ren diode yu xiandai ren diode 传统人道德与现代人道德 (Traditional people’s Morality and Modern people’s Morality), Beijing Gongren Jiaoyu Chubanshe (Worker’s Education Press), 1989, (part chapters of this book was translated into English and published in Australia)

Book Reviews:

  1. Musing with Confucius and Paul: toward a Chinese Christian Theology, by K.K. Yeo, Journal of Beliefs & Values, Vol. 31. No.3, December 2010, Routledge Taylor & Francis Group. pp.359-360


1. Jen and Agape: Comparative Studies between Confucianism and Christianity, (Trans.), Beijing: ShehuiKexue Chubanshe, 2002

2. The 21th Century Humanism (Co-trans.), Beijing: Renmin Chubanshe (The People’s Press), 1998. 

Forthcoming publications:


  1. Daoist Longevity Yangsheng and Ageing Society (Daojia changshou yangsheng yu laonian shehui), has been accepted by journal of Chinese Daoism, will be published in 2013
  2. 'Why Daoism? Research on Daoism in the West since 1970'


  1. Text Book: Taiji Chinese, complete first draft
  2. Handbook: Yangsheng Terminologies and Daoist Body Philosophy, in writing
  3. Monograph:  Daoist Self Health Care Tradition and the Chinese Ageing Society, in writing

Undertaken Conferences

  1. Panel Chair and Speaker of the 29May-1st June 2014, 9th International Conference on Daoist Studies: Daoism: Tradition and Transition, Boston University, USA: Daoist Healthy Longevity Self Care and the Ageing Society.
  2. The 6-7th December 2013, Keynotes speaker of the Fifth International Conference of the Modern Chinese Studies, with title: Why Daoism? Daoism in the West since 1970
  3. 21-14 July 2013, Panel Chair and Speaker of the 18th International Conference of the International Society for Chinese Philosophy: Chinese Philosophy and Way of Living, to be held by the State University of New York at Buffalo: Yangzhu’s Yangsheng Philosophy and Its Modern Relevance
  4. 4-7th Sep 2012: Speaker of the International Symposium on Ageing and Longevity to be held in Chengmai, Hainan Province of China 
  5. Keynote Speaker of the 2010(8-10 Nov 2010) China Wuyi: International Yangsheng Tourism Peak Forum—Ye Fashan Daoist Yangsheng Cultural Theme Conference 2010中国武义•国际养生旅游高峰论坛- 叶法善道家养生文化专题研讨会: On the Modernization and Globalization of Daoist Yangsheng Culture.
  6. Speaker of the Yangsheng Forum of the Third Daoist Cultural Festival to be held by Whole China Daoist Association at Qingcheng Daoist Temple and Sichuan University of China from 16th to 19th September 2010, with paper: On the Modern Value of Daoist Yangsheng tradition
  7. Speaker of the conference entitled as ‘Religion and the Charitable Society in China’ on 1-3 July 2010 at the Pavilion115 New Cavendish Street, University of Westminster, London, with paper entitled ‘Daoism in the Field of Chinese Charity’
  8. Annual Conference of American Asian Philosophy on 17th to 20th February 2010 at Chicago, present paper entitled ‘On Chinese Concept of Harmony’ with no personal attending
  9. 10th February 2010, in TRS Seminar Series of the University of Wales Lampeter to give a paper entitled as ‘Chinese religion: A Contextual Approach’
  10. ‘On the impact of Confucian Ethics on Modern Chinese Economy’, paper presented in The Third Sino-German Symposium: A Cross-Culture Comparison of the Relationship between Economic Ethics and Technical Ethics, on 20-24th July 2008 at the University of Stuttgart
  11. ‘On the Modernization of Confucian Concept of Harmony’, paper presented in Rising China in the Age of Globalisation: The Inaugural International Conference of the UCD Confucius Institute for Ireland and the Irish Institute for Chinese Studies, July, 2007 at Doblin, Ireland
  12. ‘Confucian Education in Modern China: Challenge and Opportunities’, paper presented in the international conference entitled as ‘China in the 21st Century: Culture, Politics and Business’, 6-8, June 2007 at UCC, Cork, Ireland
  13. ‘Xunzi’s Notion of Yi and Its Influence on Traditional Chinese Idea of State’, paper presented at the 2002 Annual Conference of the British Association for Study of Religions

Grants Achieved:

April – May 2013
Successful applied SIP (Strategic Insight Programme: Building Collaborative Partnerships) funding £2500 for an Internship in China Daoist Association and  visiting of 4 Colleges of Daoist Studies in Mainland China

Dec. 2009
Initiator of PMI2 British Council Funding MA programme: China-UK Collaborative Partnerships in Employability and Entrepreneurship (£25,000)

Jan 2008
Initiator and main applicants for the Confucius Institute Wales CHINA NOW festival grant (£2,500)

March 2007    
Initiator and proposer for the Confucius Institute at the UWLampeter and its initial grant $100,000