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The Art of Fate Calculation
Practicing Divination in Taipei, Beijing, and Kaifeng
Foreword by Michael Lackner
374 pages, 42 illus., bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-80073-812-6 $145.00/£107.00 / Hb / Not Yet Published (January 2023)
eISBN 978-1-80073-813-3 eBook Not Yet Published
“Represents an extremely valuable resource, both as a one-stop account of the politics of divination in modern China (the Republic pre-1949, PRC, and Taiwan), its intellectual history, and some key methods, and as a detailed ethnographic account of how diviners and clients engage with divination as a decision-making process and set of cosmological ideas. • William Matthews, London School of Economics
“Excellent and very timely survey of the broad field of Chinese divination. And so much more than "a survey"! A comprehensive, detailed review of a complex and fascinating subject.” • David Zeitlyn, University of Oxford
From housewives to students and high-ranking officials, people from all social backgrounds in China and Taiwan visit fate calculation masters to learn about their destiny. How do clients assess the diviner’s skills? How does one become a fortune-teller? How is a person’s fate calculated? The Art of Fate Calculation explores how conceptions of fate circulate in Chinese and Taiwanese societies while resisting uniformization and institutionalization. This is not only due to the stigma of “superstition” but also to the internal dynamic of fate calculation practice and learning.
Stéphanie Homola is Assistant Professor for Ethnology at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg and Director of the Elite Master’s Program “Standards of Decision-making Across Cultures”.
Subject: Anthropology (General) Anthropology of Religion Sociology
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