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Just as Christianity has its Vatican in Rome, modern Daoism boasts of a unique center of religious authority and administration: the Temple of the White Clouds (Baiyun guan) in Beijing, seat of the general headquarters of the Chinese Daoist Association. This temple complex in Beijing, called by Dr Esposito "modern Daoism's Vatican," houses the grave of the mythical founder of Daoism's Quanzhen tradition and celebrates the patriarchs of its Longmen ("Dragon Gate") branch as his legitimate heirs. Monica Esposito describes in this book how Daoist masters and historiographers in China, much like their Catholic counterparts in Europe, invented a glorious patriarchal lineage as well as a system of ordination designed to perpetuate orthodox transmission and central control. They also created a kind of New Testament: a new canonical collection of scriptures entitled "The Gist of the Daoist Canon" (Daozang jiyao). It contains hundreds of texts including the Daoist classic The Secret of the Golden Flower which achieved fame through the commentary by Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung. A classic study on the invention of religious traditions, the four parts of Creative Daoism describe in detail the construction of the Daoist Vatican's lineage of patriarchs, system of ordination, canon of sacred scriptures, and doctrine of universal salvation.
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