Divination Lecture: "Arousing Images: The Poetry of Divination and the Divination of Poetry"

What does the future hold? In ancient China, diviners found the answers in fire-cracked bones of animals and the Yi ching, also known as the I Ching or Classic of Changes. And as in the ancient Chinese poems of the Shi jing or Classic of Poetry, even the movements and calls of birds may have inspired diviners.

The Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology at Harvard University presents the free lecture "Arousing Images: The Poetry of Divination and the Divination of Poetry" on Thursday, September 20, 2012 at the Geological Lecture Hall (24 Oxford St., Cambridge) at 6:00 PM. A reception will follow at the Peabody Museum (11 Divinity Avenue).

The intersection of divination and poetry in ancient China is the focus of "Arousing Images," the first lecture in a year-long series of Divination talks presented by the Peabody Museum. The illustrated lecture features the two best-known forms of divination in ancient China—pyromancy performed with turtle-shells and ox bones, and the predictions associated with the Yi jing or Classic of Changes.

For thousands of years and across the globe, diviners have predicted the weather, received the gods’ commands, and foretold the fortunes of commoners and potentates alike. Join us as we explore the many ways that humans attempt to understand the present and divine the future. Look for the tarot card icon on the Peabody Museum calendar for lectures on this topic.

Edward L. Shaughnessy is the Lorraine J. and Herrlee G. Creel Distinguished Service Professor of Early China, University of Chicago.

 

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Inscribed oracle bone from the Shang Dynasty, China.

Inscribed oracle bone from the Shang Dynasty, China. PM 35-79-60/2539.

"Arousing Images: The Poetry of Divination and the Divination of Poetry," part of the free Peabody Museum Divination lecture series, is Thursday, September 20, 2012 at 6:00 pm at the Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge.

Edward L. Shaughnessy, Lorraine J. and Herrlee G. Creel Distinguished Service Professor of Early China, University of Chicago

A public reception follows at the Peabody Museum, 11 Divinity Ave., Cambridge.

Public information: 617-496-1027

 

 

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