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Communicating with the Gods in China (GANYING)

Communicating with the Gods in China (GANYING)
©Illustration by Claire Martha

This research project concerns divination and consultation practices in Chinese temples today, through a study of bamboo fortune sticks, chouquian 抽签, an ancient rite that is still practiced in China. The goal of this project is to show how this form of “written divination”, which fluctuates between poetry and prophecy, is a variable practice because fortune sticks may have different interpretations depending on whether they are read by a religious specialist or by applicants who decipher them alone, based on versions written on slips of paper. Available to all, these rites play a central role in helping overcome obstacles of all kinds, adapting to social change and predicting the future. In order to document this practice, the translation (from Chinese to French) and the study of a corpus of divinatory slips used in a small ordinary Taoist temple in Central China will be launched in order to understand then the way the local monks use them to answer to the visitors requests. This preliminary project also aims to support the establishment of a larger project associating ethnology, history, archaeology, and museology, coordinated by Corinne Debaine-Francfort, Claire Vidal and Adeline Herrou on communication with gods in China through the intermediary of divination practices and responses to supplications in different eras. The organisation of an exploratory study day will lay the foundations of this. 

Project Leader

Adeline HERROU , CNRS - LESC UMR 7186

Internal cluster partners

  • Laboratoire d'Ethnologie et de Sociologie Comparative (LESC) - UMR 7186
  • Maison des Sciences de l'Homme Mondes - USR 3225

Duration

1 an

Keywords

Chine, divination, écriture, objets cultuels, économie rituelle

ALL A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Vanessa TUBIANA-BRUN


Title:  Ingénieur d'études, CNRS
Position:  Réalisatrice audiovisuel et multimédia
Institution:  Maison Archéologie et Ethnologie, René-Ginouvès (USR 3225)


Leader of the project:  The fabric of memory: Kültepe, a test laboratory for interdisciplinary research

Claire VIDAL


Title:  Maître de conférences en anthropologie
Institution:  Institut d'Asie orientale - CNRS UMR 5062

Corinne DEBAINE-FRANCFORT


Title:  Archéologue, Directrice de recherche
Institution:  CNRS - ArScAn UMR 7041


Takes part in the project:  La communication avec les dieux en Chine

Adeline HERROU


Title:  Directrice de recherche
Institution:  CNRS - LESC UMR 7186