Hans-Christian Lehner, ed.:
The End(s) of Time(s). Apocalypticism, Messianism, and Utopianism through the Ages

Published by Brill

Prognostication in History, Vol. 6

In times of crises, be it about climate change, the pandemic corona virus, or democratic struggles, there is an unwaning interest worldwide in the end of times and related themes such as apocalypticism, messianism, and utopianism. This concerns scholarship and society alike, and is by no means limited to the religious field. The present volume collates essays from specialists in the study of apocalyptic and eschatological subjects. With its interdisciplinary approach, it is designed to overcome the existing Euro-centrism and incorporate a broader perspective to the topic of end time expectations in the Christian Middle Ages as well as in East Asia and Africa.

Contributors include: Gaelle Bosseman, Wolfram Brandes, Matthias Gebauer, Jürgen Gebhardt, Vincent Goossaert, Klaus Herbers, Matthias Kaup, Bernardo Bertholin Kerr, Thomas Krümpel, Richard Landes, Zhao Lu, Rolf Scheuermann, and Julia Eva Wannenmacher.

Link to Publisher Page

Josefina Rodríguez-Arribas and Dorian Gieseler Greenbaum:
Unveiling the Hidden—Anticipating the Future. Divinatory Practices Among Jews Between Qumran and the Modern Period

Published by Brill

Prognostication in History, Vol. 5

In Unveiling the Hidden—Anticipating the Future: Divinatory Practices Among Jews Between Qumran and the Modern Period, Josefina Rodríguez-Arribas and Dorian Gieseler Greenbaum collect ten studies based on primary sources ranging from Qumran to the modern period and covering Europe and the Mediterranean basin. The studies show Jews practising divination (astrology, bibliomancy, physiognomy, dream requests, astral magic, etc.) and implementing the study and practice of the prognostic arts in ways that allowed Jews to make them "Jewish," by avoiding any conflict with Jewish law or halakhah. These studies focus on the Jewish components of this divination, providing specific firsthand details about the practices and their practitioners within their cultural and intellectual contexts—as well as their fears, wishes, and anxieties—using ancient scrolls and medieval manuscripts in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Judaeo-Arabic.

Contributors are Michael D. Swartz, Helen R. Jacobus, Alessia Bellusci, Blanca Villuendas Sabaté, Shraga Bar-On, Josefina Rodríguez-Arribas, Amos Geula, Dov Schwartz, Joseph Ziegler, and Charles Burnett.

Link to Publisher Page

Klaus Herbers and Hans-Christian Lehner:
Mittelalterliche Rechtstexte und mantische Praktiken

Published by Boehlau

Beihefte zum Archiv für Kulturgeschichte, 94

Prognostication, divination, mantic and fortune-telling are often present in medieval law. But does the presence of this topic in the legal sources justify a conclusion about the practice? Did the individual texts actually react to contemporary practices or was it perhaps only older traditional material that was continually updated for systematical reasons? The answer to this question also depends on the significance of the prognostic practices in everyday life.

In this volume, experts in the field of medieval law not only analyse the variance and continuity of the topic of prognosis in legal texts from the early and high Middle Ages, but also ask about historical tradition and its location in life. The sources examined include collections of canon and secular law, books of penance and papal letters.

Link to Publisher Page

Matthias Heiduk, Klaus Herbers and Hans-Christian Lehner:
Prognostication in the Medieval World - A Handbook

Published by De Gruyter

De Gruyter Reference

Two opposing views of the future in the Middle Ages dominate recent historical scholarship. According to one opinion, medieval societies were expecting the near end of the world and therefore had no concept of the future. According to the other opinion, the expectation of the near end created a drive to change the world for the better and thus for innovation. Close inspection of the history of prognostication reveals the continuous attempts and multifold methods to recognize and interpret God’s will, the prodigies of nature, and the patterns of time. That proves, on the one hand, the constant human uncertainty facing the contingencies of the future. On the other hand, it demonstrates the firm believe during the Middle Ages in a future which could be shaped and even manipulated. The handbook provides the first overview of current historical research on medieval prognostication. It considers the entangled influences and transmissions between Christian, Jewish, Islamic, and non-monotheistic societies during the period from a wide range of perspectives. An international team of 63 renowned authors from about a dozen different academic disciplines contributed to this comprehensive overview.

Link to Publisher Page

Alexander Kingsbury Smith:
Interdisciplinary Approaches to Ritual Prognostication in the Tibetan Bon Tradition

Published by Brill

Brill's Tibetan Studies Library, Vol. 47

In Divination in Exile, Alexander K. Smith offers the first comprehensive scholarly introduction to the performance of divination in Tibetan speaking communities, both past and present. While Smith surveys a variety of ritual practices, the volume focuses on divination and its associated rites in the contemporary Tibetan Bon tradition. Drawing from multi-site ethnographic fieldwork conducted in Himachal Pradesh and the translation of previously unpublished Tibetan language materials, Divination in Exile offers a valuable, social scientific contribution to our understanding of the perception and usage of ritual manuscripts in contemporary Tibetan cultural milieus.

Link to Publisher Page

Michael Lackner, Kwok-kan Tam, Monika Gänssbauer, and Terry Siu Han Yip:
Fate and Prognostication in the Chinese Literary Imagination

Published by Brill

Prognostication in History, Vol. 4

The essays collected in Fate and Prognostication in the Chinese Literary Imagination deal with the philosophical, psychological, gender and cultural issues in the Chinese conception of fate as represented in literary texts and films, with a focus placed on human efforts to solve the riddles of fate prediction. Viewed in this light, the collected essays unfold a meandering landscape of the popular imaginary in Chinese beliefs and customs. The chapters in this book represent concerted efforts in research originated from a project conducted at the International Consortium for Research in the Humanities at the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany.

Contributors are Michael Lackner, Kwok-kan Tam, Monika Gaenssbauer, Terry Siu-han Yip, Xie Qun, Roland Altenburger, Jessica Tsui-yan Li, Kaby Wing-Sze Kung, Nicoletta Pesaro, Yan Xu-Lackner, and Anna Wing Bo Tso.

Link to Publisher Page

Anne Kathrin Schmiedl:
Chinese Character Manipulation in Literature and Divination
The Zichu by Zhou Lianggong (1612–1672)

Published by Brill

Prognostication in History, Vol. 3

In Chinese Character Manipulation in Literature and Divination, Anne Schmiedl analyses the little-studied method of Chinese character manipulation as found in imperial sources. Focusing on one of the most famous and important works on this subject, the Zichu by Zhou Lianggong (1612–1672), Schmiedl traces and discusses the historical development and linguistic properties of this method. This book represents the first thorough study of the Zichu and the reader is invited to explore how, on the one hand, the educated elite leveraged character manipulation as a literary play form. On the other hand, as detailed exhaustively by Schmiedl, practitioners of divination also used and altered the visual, phonetic, and semantic structure of Chinese characters to gain insights into events and objects in the material world.

Link to Publisher Page

Stephan Heilen:
Konjunktionsprognostik in der Frühen Neuzeit [Conjunction Astrology in Early Modern Europe].
1. Band: Die Antichrist-Prognose des Johannes von Lübeck (1474) zur Saturn-Jupiter-Konjunktion von 1504 und ihre frühneuzeitliche Rezeption.

Published by Verlag Valentin Koerner


Of Perso-Arabic origin, conjunction astrology bypasses individual birth horoscopes in favor of those rare conjunctions of planets on which historical events-especially the fates of dynasties and religions-were thought to depend. Brought to Europe via Arabic texts, this doctrine exerted an enormous impact on late Medieval and Renaissance culture. Volume 1 offers a general introduction to the project followed by a critical edition with German translation of the earliest relevant text. Here John of Lübeck, writing from Padua in 1474, predicts in detail when and how the Antichrist's reign of terror, widely anticipated as the last world religion, will arrive.

Link to Publisher Page

Esther-Maria Guggenmos and Li Wei:
Wahrsagende Mönche im chinesischen Buddhismus: Biographien aus dem Shenseng zhuan

Published by Ostasien Verlag

Deutsche Ostasienstudien 39

Dieses Buch analysiert erstmals dieses Wirkungsfeld der Mönche anhand einer biographischen Sammlung von 208 Mönchsbiographien aus dem 15. Jahrhundert, der Biographien wundertätiger Mönche (Shenseng zhuan 神僧傳). Auf der Basis von 22 in wörtlicher Übersetzung vorgelegten Mönchsbiographien wurden die darin enthaltenen Erzählungen einer eingehenden Analyse unterzogen. So entstand ein facettenreiches Bild der mönchischen Wahrsagungspraxis über mehrere Jahrhunderte, einer Praxis, die – besonders im politischen Kontext – Aufschluss über ein höchst relevantes Beraterwissen dieser Mönche erteilt, welches die verschiedensten mantischen Disziplinen, von der Omen- und Traumkunde über Physiognomik und Astrologie, kunstvoll miteinander in Verbindung brachte.

Link to Publisher Page

Petra Maurer, Donatella Rossi, and Rolf Scheuermann (Ed.):
Glimpses of Tibetan Divination: Past and Present

Published by Brill

Prognostication in History Series, Vol. 2.

Glimpses of Tibetan Divination: Past and Present is the first book of its kind, in that it contains articles by a group of eminent scholars who approach the subject matter by investigating it through various facets and salient historical figures. Over the centuries, Tibetans developed many practices of prognostication and adapted many others from neighboring cultures and religions. In this way, Tibetan divination evolved into a vast field of ritual expertise that has been largely neglected in Tibetan Studies. The Tibetan repertoire of divinatory techniques is rich and immensely varied. Accordingly, the specimen of practices discussed in this volume - many of which remain in use today - merely serve as examples that offer glimpses of divination in Tibet.
Contributors are Per Kværne, Brandon Dotson, Ai Nishida, Dan Martin, Petra Maurer, Charles Ramble, Donatella Rossi, Rolf Scheuermann, Alexander Smith, and Agata Bareja-Starzynska.

Link to Publisher Page

Jan-Ulrich Sobisch:
Divining with Achi and Tārā. Comparative Remarks on Tibetan Dice and Mālā Divination: Tools, Poetry, Structures, and Ritual Dimensions

Published by Brill

Prognostication in History Series, Vol. 1.

Divining with Achi and Tārā is a book on Tibetan methods of prognostics with dice and prayer beads (mālā). Jan-Ulrich Sobisch offers a thorough discussion of Chinese, Indian, Turkic, and Tibetan traditions of divination, its techniques, rituals, tools, and poetic language. Interviews with Tibetan masters of divination introduce the main part with a translation of a dice divination manual of the deity Achi that is still part of a living tradition. Solvej Nielsen contributes further interviews, a mālā divination of Tārā and its oral tradition, and very useful glossaries of the terminology of Tibetan divination and fortune telling. Appendices provide lists of deities and spirits and of numerous identified ritual remedies and supports that are an essential element of a still vibrant Tibetan culture.

Link to Publisher Page

Agostino Paravicini Bagliani (Ed.):
Longevity and Immortality. Europe - Islam - Asia.

Published by SISMEL - Edizioni del Galluzzo

Micrologus 26

A. Paravicini Bagliani, Introduction.
C. Crisciani, Death as a Destiny and the Hope of Long Life. The Latin Middle Ages.
D. Rossi, Faith or Fate? The Path towards Immortality according to the Tantric Traditions of Tibet.
D. Jacquart, Est-il possible et légitime pour un médecin médiéval de prévoir la longévité d'un patient?
J. Ziegler, Why did the Patriarchs Live so long? On the Role of the Bible in the Discourse on Longevity around 1300.
R. Scheuermann, "One will Quickly die!". Predictions of Death in Three Tibetan Buddhist Divination Manuals.
A. Paravicini Bagliani, The Prolongation of Life and its Limits. Western Europe, XIIIth-XVIth c.
C. Burnett, Natural Death and the Alleviation of Old Age in the Middle Ages.
J. Coste, La "Mort de Vieillesse" dans les statistiques de mortalité (XVIIe siècle - XXIe siècle): une catégorie problématique.
D. Kahn, Quintessence and the Prolongation of Life in the Works of Paracelsus.
M. Heiduk, A Quest for Longevity? A New Approach to the Earliest Testimonies of Medieval Alchemy.
M. Pastoureau, Longévité animale dans les traditions médiévales.
F. Santi, Teologie della resurrezione della carne (Sec. XIII-XIV).
A. Caiozzo, Rêves d'immortalité, trois rois, deux héros, un prophète.
M. Förg, The Centaur's Death: The Myth of Chiron and the Transfer of Immortality.
B. A. S. Dajani, Immortality Through Love in Classical Arab Literature.
B. Hendrischke, Modes of Avoiding Death in the Scripture on Great Peace.
D. Steavu, The Marvelous Fungus and The Secret of Divine Immortals.
F. Pregadio, Which is the Daoist Immortal Body?

Link to Publisher Page

Josefina Rodríguez Arribas, Charles Burnett, Silke Ackermann (Eds.)
Astrolabes in Medieval Cultures

Published by Brill

Medieval Encounters, Vol. 23.

Link to Publisher Page

Constance A. Cook:
Ancestors, Kings, and the Dao

Published by Harvard University Press

Harvard-Yenching Institute Monograph Series, Vol. 107.

Ancestors, Kings, and the Dao outlines the evolution of musical performance in early China, first within and then ultimately away from the socio-religious context of ancestor worship. Examining newly discovered bamboo texts from the Warring States period, Constance A. Cook compares the rhetoric of Western Zhou (1046-771 BCE) and Spring and Autumn (770-481 BCE) bronze inscriptions with later occurrences of similar terms in which ritual music began to be used as a form of self-cultivation and education. Cook's analysis links the creation of such classics as the Book of Odes with the ascendance of the individual practitioner, further connecting the social actors in three types of ritual: boys coming of age, heirs promoted into ancestral government positions, and the philosophical stages of transcendence experienced in self-cultivation.
The focus of this study is on excavated texts; it is the first to use both bronze and bamboo narratives to show the evolution of a single ritual practice. By viewing the ancient inscribed materials and the transmitted classics from this new perspective, Cook uncovers new linkages in terms of how the materials were shaped and reshaped over time and illuminates the development of eulogy and song in changing ritual contexts.

Link to Publisher Page

Donald Harper and Marc Kalinowski (Eds.):
Books of Fate and Popular Culture in Early China. The Daybook Manuscripts of the Warring States, Qin, and Han

Published by BRILL

Handbuch der Orientalistik / Handbook of Oriental Studies, Section 4: China, Vol. 33.

Books of Fate and Popular Culture in Early China is a comprehensive introduction to the manuscripts known as daybooks, examples of which have been found in Warring States, Qin, and Han tombs (453 BCE-220 CE). Their main content concerns hemerology, or "knowledge of good and bad days." Daybooks reveal the place of hemerology in daily life and are invaluable sources for the study of popular culture. Eleven scholars have contributed chapters examining the daybooks from different perspectives, detailing their significance as manuscript-objects intended for everyday use and showing their connection to almanacs still popular in Chinese communities today as well as to hemerological literature in medieval Europe and ancient Babylon.

Link to Publisher Page

Michael Lackner (Ed.):
Coping with the Future: Theories and Practices of Divination in East Asia

Published by BRILL

Sinica Leidensia 138

Coping with the Future offers insights into various techniques of divination, their evolution, and their assessment. The contributions cover the period from the earliest documents on East Asian mantic arts to their appearance in the present time. The volume reflects the pervasive manifestations of divination in literature, religious and political life, and their relevance for society and individuals. Special emphasis is placed on cross-cultural influences and attempts to find theoretical foundations for divinatory practices. This edited volume is an initiative to study the phenomena of divination across East Asian cultures and beyond. It is also one of the first attempts to theorize divinatory practices through East Asian traditions.

Link to Publisher Page

Stefano Rapisarda in collaboration with Charles Burnett (eds.):
Textes médiévaux de scapulomancie

Published by Classiques Garnier

Scapulimancy, a divination technique that uses the shoulder blades of ruminants, dates back to the earliest times of agropastoral civilizations. This book presents a collection of scapulimantic texts in Greek, Arabic, Latin and Anglo-Norman.

Link to Publisher Page

Constance A. Cook and Zhao Lu (eds.):
Stalk Divination. A Newly Discovered Alternative to the I Ching

Published by Oxford University Press

This book presents for the first time a full translation and analysis of a newly discovered bamboo divination manual from the fourth century BCE China, called the Stalk Divination Method (Shifa). It was used as an alternative to the better-known Zhouyi (popularly known as the I-Ching). The Shifa manual presents a competing method of interpreting the trigrams, the most basic elements of the distinctive sixty-four hexagrams in the Zhouyi. This newly discovered method looks at the combination of four trigrams as a fluid, changeable pattern or unit reflective of different circumstances in an elite man's life. Unlike the Zhouyi, this new manual provides case studies that explain how to read the trigram patterns for different topics. This method is unprecedented in early China and has left no trace in later Chinese divination traditions. Shifa must be understood then as a competing voice in the centuries before the Zhouyi became the hegemonic standard. The authors of this book have translated this new text and "cracked the code" of its logic. This new divination will change our understanding of Chinese divination and bring new light to Zhouyi studies.

Link to Publisher Page

Patrick Henriet, Klaus Herbers et Hans-Christian Lehner (eds.):
Hagiographie et prophétie (VIe-XIIIe siècles).

Published by SISMEL - Edizioni del Galluzzo

Micrologus' Library 80

In hagiographical texts, the character of the saint is often merged with that of the prophet. Thus St. Anthony, St. Martin of Tours, and St. Benedict are sometimes also referred to as prophets. Athanasius, for example, writes about Anthony: "We neither ought to pray to know the future, nor to ask for it as the reward of our discipline" (Vita Antonii, 34). The prediction of future events is only one aspect of prophecy, however. When regarded in the sense of Augustine and Gregory the Great, it is rather generally "the ability to bring to light what is hidden." The link between prophecy and holiness that was often mentioned, has never been the subject of a particular volume. The studies presented here comprise a large number of texts and represent a collection of various dossiers which are united by a common issue.

Patrick Henriet, Quod recte prophetia dicitur. Introduction.
Marie-Céline Isaïa, La prophétie dans l'hagiographie latine du haut Moyen Âge (VIe-IXe siècle). L'histoire comme destin, prédestination et providence.
Edina Bozoky, La prophétie dans la Vie de Columba d'Adomnan.
Sumi Shimahara, Prophètes scripturaires et hagiographie à l'époque carolingienne.
Patrick Henriet, Espace et temps dans les visions cosmiques des saints.
Klaus Herbers, Vision et prophétie dans les vies et miracleshagiographiques comme signes de sainteté?
Uta Kleine, «Ce sont les mots que profère une langue nouvelle». Élisabeth de Schönau et le renouveau de la prophétie du XIIe siècle.
Laurence Moulinier-Brogi, Mystique sans frontières: un aperçu sur la circulation des textes hagiographiques et prophétiques au féminin en Europe.
Hans-Christian Lehner, L'hagiographie et la prophétie dans l'historiographie: la représentation de l'évêque Henri de Lübeck dans la chronique d'Arnold de Lübeck.
Jean-Marie Sansterre, Images, prédictions et présages à Byzance et dans l'Occident médiéval.
André Vauchez, Conclusions.

Link to Publisher Page

Klaus Herbers, Hans-Christian Lehner (eds.):
Unterwegs im Namen der Religion II / On the Road in the Name of Religion II: Wege und Ziele in vergleichender Perspektive - das mittlelalterliche Europa und Asien / Ways and Destinations in Comparative Perspective - Medieval Europe and Asia

Published by Franz Steiner Verlag, Wiesbaden

Going on a pilgrimage is one of the oldest and at the same time most current kinds of mobility. Millions of people from different cultural areas set out every year. The departure to spiritual or sacred destinations is what unites the pilgrims of different epochs across religious borders – although their motivations and practices are different. A pilgrim does not go on a pilgrimage for religious motives alone since a pilgrimage is more than a religious practice. Political implications, anthropological dispositions, literary fiction and much more play a role. In the first volume, pilgrimages were regarded as a ritual and their motives were discussed. The authors of the second volume focus on the ways and destinations of pilgrimages: In addition to the question of the origin of the traditions, they also concentrate on the material, cultural, and metaphysical significance of those traditions. Consequently the sources which do not seem to be thematically relevant at first sight, offer new perspectives. Methods of cultural and literary studies as well as philological methods supplement the genuine historic approach.

Link to Publisher Page

The Impact of Arabic Sciences in Europe and Asia

Published by SISMEL - Edizioni del Galluzzo

Micrologus XXIV

Ch. Burnett, On Judging and Doing in Arabic and Latin Texts on Astrology and Divination
D. Jacquart, Quelques propos introductifs: la confluence des sources grecques et arabes dans l'Occident médiéval latin. PRACTICAL SCIENCES.
J. Chandelier, Le concept de maladie chronique, des Grecs aux Arabes et des Arabes aux Latins
M. R. McVaugh, Why Rhazes?
M. Pereira, Projecting Perfection. Remarks on the Origin of the "Alchemy of the Elixir"
A. Djebbar, La circulation de l'algèbre arabe en Europe et son impact
M. Abattouy, The Corpus of Mechanics of Al-Isfizārī: its Structure and Signification in the Context of Arabic Mechanics. DIVINATION, MAGIC, ASTROLOGY.
D. Juste, The Impact of Arabic Sources on European Astrology: Some Facts and Numbers
J.-P. Boudet, Les comètes dans le Centiloquium et le De cometis du pseudo-Ptolémée
N. Weill-Parot, Devenirs de la magie astrale hermétique arabe dans le monde latin: signification "culturelle" d'une utilisation (XIIe - XVe siècle)
G. de Callataÿ, Who were the Readers of the Rasā'il Ikhwān al-Safā'?
M. Bagheri, Kūshyār ibn Labbān's Mathematical Approach in His Astronomical Handbook
Shi Yunli Zhu Haohao, Calculating the Fate of Chinese Dynasties with the Islamic Method: The Chinese Study and Application of Arabic Astrology in the 17th Century. RECEPTION AND ORGANIZATION OF KNOWLEDGE.
I. Ventura, Medieval Pharmacy and the Arabic Heritage: the Salernitan Collection Circa instans
V. Boudon-Millot, L'apport des traducteurs arabes dans le débat sur l'authenticité des traités galéniques
J.-M. Mandosio, The Use of al-Kindî's Treatise On Rays in Peter of Zealand's Elucidation of Marvelous Things (End of the 15th Century)
M. Yano, Eastern Perspective of the Conference
A.Paravicini Bagliani, Western Perspective of the Conference.
Indexes by D. Jacquart and A. Paravicini Bagliani

Link to Publisher Page

Hans-Christian Lehner:
Prophetie zwischen Eschatologie und Politik: Zur Rolle der Vorhersagbarkeit von Zukünftigem in der hochmittelalterlichen Historiografie

Published by Franz Steiner Verlag, Mainz

Verfinsterungen von Sonne oder Mond, auffällige Sternbilder, Erscheinung von Kometen, schreckliche Gewitter, Sturmfluten und Überschwemmungen, Heuschreckenplagen und fliegende Würmer, Erdbeben, Seuchen etc.: die hochmittelalterlichen Geschichtsschreiber registrierten viele Phänomene, die sich als Anzeichen für Zukünftiges interpretieren ließen und ebenso wie die Berichte von Träumen und Visionen, Prophezeiungen, mirakulösen Begebenheiten und mantischen Praktiken den Lauf der Geschichte nach Gottes Plan verstehbar zu machen vermochten. Dies konnte die Ankunft des Antichrist und die letzten Tage ebenso betreffen wie Sorgen der großen Politik oder des einfachen Alltags. Sonderfälle entstehen bei Pluralität von Vorhersagen und Deutungen - etwa wenn ein historisches Ereignis unterschiedlich als zukunftsvorhersagend erkannt wird - sowie im Umgang mit falschen Propheten und falschen Prophezeiungen. In der vorliegenden Arbeit werden solche Textstellen für das 12. und 13. Jahrhundert analysiert und verglichen. Ausdrücklich zu würdigen ist die besondere Rolle des Geschichtsschreibers, seine Absichten, Interessen sowie sein Bildungshintergrund.

Link to Publisher Page

Felicitas Schmieder (ed.):
Mittelalterliche Zukunftsgestaltung im Angesicht des Weltendes: Forming the Future Facing the End of the World in the Middle Ages

Published by Boehlau Verlag

Beihefte zum Archiv für Kulturgeschichte - 77

Gab es im europäischen Mittelalter eine "Zukunft"? Gestalteten die Menschen ihre eigene Zukunft und die ihrer Gesellschaft, oder ergaben sie sich angesichts der Unausweichlichkeit des kommenden Weltuntergangs in ihr Schicksal? Zweifellos bedeutete Zukunft im Mittelalter etwas anderes als in unserer modernen Welt, doch zeigt dieser Band, wie stark und in welcher Weise über die vor dem Ende noch verbleibende Zeit und ihre Nutzung nachgedacht wurde. Die Beiträge bewegen sich zwischen dem frühmittelalterlichen Irland und dem spätmittelalterlichen Hussitentum und beschäftigen sich mit Gegenwartsanalysen, Historiographie, Prophetie, Dichtungen, Bildwerken und Bibelkommentaren.

Link to Publisher Page

Wiebke Deimann, David Juste (eds.):
Astrologers and their Clients in Medieval and Early Modern Europe

Published by Boehlau Verlag

Beihefte zum Archiv für Kulturgeschichte - 73

The contributions of the book examine the "realia" of astrological activity, a domain which has received little attention within in the field of the history of astrology in Medieval and Early Modern times. What can be said about the social and academic background of the astrologers? What kind of techniques and methods did they use and how can their general understanding of astrology be described? On the other hand, what did the clients expect and in which ways did the use astrological counselling for themselves? Addresses of astrological texts can be found in various sectors of the population. Therefore, general conclusions on the position of astrology in society can be drawn from the interconnections between astrologers, astrological practice and the recipients. All articles are in English.

Die Beiträge des Bandes nehmen mit der konkreten Ausgestaltung astrologischer Beratungspraxis einen bislang vernachlässigten Aspekt mittelalterlicher und frühneuzeitlicher Astrologiegeschichte in den Blick. Welche sozialen und akademischen Hintergründe hatten die Astrologen? Nach welchen Techniken und Methoden arbeiteten sie und wie war ihr Selbstverständnis? Welche Erwartungshaltung lässt sich - auf der anderen Seite - bei den Auftraggebern erkennen und wie gingen jene mit astrologischer Beratung um? Adressaten astrologischer Werke lassen sich in unterschiedlichsten Teilen der Bevölkerung ausmachen. Aus den Bezügen zwischen Astrologen, astrologischer Praxis und den Rezipienten ergeben sich daher implizit Aufschlüsse über die gesellschaftliche Bedeutung von Astrologie. Sämtliche Beiträge sind in englischer Sprache.

Link to Publisher Page

Takashima, Ken'ichi:
A Little Primer of Chinese Oracle-Bone Inscriptions with Some Exercises

Published by Harrassowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden

Indispensable to the study of the history of Chinese religion, politics, agriculture, the calendar system, hunting, warfare, medicine, sacrificial and ritual practices, and other matters of life in China's first historical dynasty, these more than 130,000 pieces of inscribed turtle plastrons and bovine scapulas, though mostly fragmented ones, comprise more text in terms of number of characters than the combined transmitted traditional pre-Qín classical Chinese texts.

The material will be presented in three forms: normalized transcriptions of the texts into modern standard Chinese script, translations into English, and ink-squeezes or rubbings of the original texts. There is also a detailed linguistic and philological explanation of the text, plus an annotation, and commentary on the cultural and historical background of the material. No special background in analyzing grammar and syntax will be required to understand most, if not all, of the materials presented in this Little Primer.

Link to Publisher Page

Chance, destin et jeux de hasard en Chine



  • Lisa Raphals: Debates about Fate in Early China
  • Stéphane Feuillas: Nature et destin dans la pensée de Zhang Zai (1020-1078) (Human Nature and Destiny in the Thought of Zhang Zai (1020-1078))
  • Andrea Bréard: Homo ludens mathematicus. La quantification du hasard dans les pratiques combinatoires en Chine (Homo ludens mathematicus: The Quantification of Chance in Combinatorial Practices in China)
  • Frédéric Constant: La législation sur les jeux d'argent à l'époque des Qing (The Legislation of Gambling in the Qing Dynasty)
  • Xavier Paulès: Les limites de l'influence du modèle de Las Vegas dans l'offre de jeux de hasard à Macao : apports d'une mise en perspective historique (The limits of the Influence of the Las Vegas Model in Gambling in Macao: Approaches from a Historical Perspective)
  • Stéphanie Homola: Le cas du "dragon chinois": légende, destin et chance autour d'un jeu divinatoire (The Case of "Chinese dragon": Legend, Destiny and Luck in a Divination Game)

Études chinoises, No. XXXIII-2 (2014)

Link to Publisher Page

Klaus Herbers, Hans-Christian Lehner (eds.):
Unterwegs im Namen der Religion / On the Road in the Name of Religion: Pilgern als Form von Kontingenzbewältigung und Zukunftssicherung in den Weltreligionen / Pilgrimage as a Means of Coping with Contingency and Fixing the Future in the World's Major Religions

Published by Franz-Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart

Pilgerreisen zählen zu den ältesten und zugleich aktuellsten Formen der Mobilität. Millionen von Menschen machen sich jährlich auf den Weg, um spirituelle oder heilige Orte aufzusuchen. Dies können Gräber oder Wirkungsstätten von Heiligen und Propheten sein, heilige Berge und Flüsse oder Orte, an denen sich Wunder ereignet haben sollen. Das Pilgern als ein Phänomen, das sich in fast allen Religionen und Kulturen findet und das mit einer Vielzahl unterschiedlicher Rituale verbunden sein kann, hat viele Motive: von der auferlegten Pflicht zur Pilgerfahrt über die Heilserwartung bis zur Selbstfindung.

In einem vergleichenden Ansatz beschäftigen sich die Autorinnen und Autoren dieses Bandes mit dem Pilgern in den Weltreligionen und nehmen es als ein Ritual in den Blick, das nicht nur geografische, sondern auch kulturelle Entfernungen überwindet. Die Bedeutung des Weges wird dabei ebenso untersucht wie die Materialität der Stätten, die Rolle von Nähe und Ferne sowie die Regelmäßigkeit und die Inner- bzw. Äußerlichkeit des Pilgerns. Zentral ist weiterhin der Aspekt des Schicksals - denn wo die Unwandelbarkeit des Schicksals bezweifelt wird, kann Rekurs auf Strategien zu dessen Beeinflussung genommen werden.

Link to Publisher Page

Between Science and Divination: Modes of Ordering the World. Workshop in Celebration of the 1000th Anniversary of the Birth of Shao Yong (January 21, 1012 - July 27, 1077), Friedrich-Alexander-Universität, Erlangen-Nürnberg, 20-21 January 2012.


Special Section in Monumenta Serica - Journal of Oriental Studies, Volume LXI

Link to Publisher Page

Michael Lackner, Nikola Chardonnens (eds.):
Polyphony Embodied: Freedom and Fate in Gao Xingjian's Writings

Published by De Gruyter, Berlin

Like artists, important writers defy unequivocal interpretations. Gao Xingjian, winner of the Nobel Prize in literature, is a cosmopolitan writer, deeply rooted in the Chinese past while influenced by paragons of Western Modernity. The present volume is less interested in a general discussion on the multitude of aspects in Gao's works and even less in controversies concerning their aesthetic value than in obtaining a response to the crucial issues of freedom and fate from a clearly defined angle. The very nature of the answer to the question of freedom and fate within Gao Xingjian's works can be called a polyphonic one: thereare affirmative as well as skeptical voices. But polyphony, as embodied by Gao, is an even more multifaceted phenomenon. Most important for our contention is the fact that Gao Xingjian's aesthetic experience embodies prose, theater, painting, and film. Taken together, they form a Gesamtkunstwerk whose diversity of voices characterizes every single one of them.

Link to Publisher Page

Stefano Rapisarda, Erik Niblaeus (eds.):
Dialogues among Books in Medieval Western Magic and Divination

Published by SISMEL

Proceedings of the Workshop "The Great Books of Medieval and Early Modern Divination (and Anti-Divination)", KHC Erlangen, 17 April 17 2012

The history of philosophy, like the history of literature - and at times even the history of science - can justifiably be defined as a "dialogue" between texts. Texts interact without regard to distances of time and space: they talk to one other, quote, refer to, hint, allude, comment, and remark. They can make tributes, acknowledgements, contradictions and confutations. In the history of Western divination, for example, we can find Ptolomeus in dialogue with Greek and "Oriental" traditions; Augustine dealing with the Pagan tradition via biblical authority and Christian doctrine; the Secretum secretorum in dialogue with Hermetic or pseudo-Hermetic traditions; Nicole Oresme's de divinacions in dialogue with Cicero's De divination, and so on. The papers delivered in the Erlangen Workshop wish attempt to explore a number of "canonical" texts on the subject of divination (and anti-divination), both as individual texts and in their intertextual connections.

Link to Publisher Page

Michael Lackner:
Lang Mixie hanxue wenji 朗宓榭汉学文集

Edited by Xu Yan 徐艳
Published by Fudan daxue chubanshe 复旦大学出版社, Shanghai

Link to Publisher Page

Florian Wagner:
Kunstkritik im China der Gegenwart: Diskurse - Medien - Akteure

Published by Projekt Verlag, Bochum

Die Kunstritik in China hat sich parallel zur dortigen zeitgenössischen Kunst rasant entwickelt. Parallel zur rasanten Entwicklung der zeitgenössischen chinesischen Kunst in den letzten 30 Jahren entfaltete sich in kaum vorstellbarer Geschwindigkeit der chinesische Kunstdiskurs. Beginnend mit den politischen und gesellschaftlichen Veränderungen nach dem Ende der Kulturrevolution, durchlebte die chinesische Gegenwartskunst einen unvorhersehbaren Erfolg, an dessen vorübergehendem Höhepunkt die Eingliederung als eines der wichtigsten Kunstphänomene der letzten Jahrzehnte in die internationale Kunstwelt stand. Diese Entwicklung und ihre Ausprägungen in der zeitgenössischen chinesischen Kunst stellen sich bei genauer Betrachtung als ungemein eng mit dem gesellschaftlichen Kontext ihrer Zeit verbunden heraus, sodass sie als Widerspiegelung der sie umgebenden, sich entfaltenden Geschichte der Volksrepublik China zum Ende des 20. und Beginn des 21. Jahrhunderts verstanden werden können. Auf dieser grundlegenden Annahme und der daraus folgend relevanten Stellung des Phänomens der zeitgenössischen Kunst in China, versucht der Autor vor dem Hintergrund des historischen Kontextes den in der Kunstwelt geführten Diskurs, dessen Medien sowie dessen Akteure genauer zu beleuchten und ihren Wandel im Verlauf der Entwicklung vorzustellen.

Link to Publisher Page

David Sehnal:
Kniha Laozi: Překlad s filologickým komentářem

Published by Filozofická fakulta Univerzity Karlovy, Praha

This publication represents an annotated translation of one of the most important Old Chinese philosophical texts, the Book of Laozi. The translation is based on detailed linguistic analysis of the text. The author has analyzed all of the cca 5000 words contained in the test and under each of them he presents his own understanding of its meaning and its syntactic function in the given context.

In the Prologue the author explains the basic methodological principles, renders the structure of the text and gives its short philosophical characteristics.

In the main part of the book, i.e. the translation with the philological notes, every chapter is introduced with a brief summary in which the author reveals its possible philosophical message. It is followed by the original Old Chinese text with marked rhyming words and its Czech translation which reflects the original in the closest possible manner. Next to it there is the philological commentary in which the author presents the results of his linguistic analysis in a transparent way.

The appendix of this publication is a vocabulary of the lexemes found in Laozi. The material obtained through the linguistic analysis is organized into head words and word clusters according to individual lexemes and their syntactic functions. The vocabulary is the first attempt of this kind as for the identification of Old Chinese lexemes by their syntactic paradigms.

Link to Publisher Page