Fengshui in China: Geomantic Divination Between State Orthodoxy and Popular Religion

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University of Hawaii Press, 2003 - Body, Mind & Spirit - 305 pages
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For well over a century, Chinese fengshui, or geomancy, has interested Western laymen and scholars. Today, hundreds of popular manuals claim to use its principles in their advice on how people can increase their wealth, happiness, longevity, and so on. This study is quite different, approaching fengshui from an academic angle. The focus is on its significance in China, but the recent history of its reinterpretation in the West is also depicted. The author argues that fengshui serves as an alternative tradition of cosmological knowledge, which is used to explain a range of everyday occurrences in rural areas, such as disease, mental disorders, accidents, and common mischief. The study includes a historical account of fengshui over the last 150 years augmented by the results of anthropological fieldwork on contemporary practices in two Chinese rural areas.
 

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Contents

Fengshui A Challenge to Anthropology
1
Fengshui Practices and Policies 1850 to 1949
34
Fengshui Practices and Policies after 1949
81
The Fengshui Revival Fieldwork in Sichuan
112
Another School of Fengshui Fieldwork in Jiangsu
163
Fengshui Applications and Possible Interpretations
198
The Construction of a Discourse Fengshui as Environmental Ethics
231
Conclusion
255
On the Origin of Fengshui and the History of Its Literature
263
List of Chinese Terms
285
List of Chinese Names
287
Bibliography
289
Index
301
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