A God's Own Tale: The Book of Transformations of Wenchang, the Divine Lord of Zitong

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SUNY Press, Aug 4, 1994 - History - 335 pages
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This scripture was revealed through spirit writing in 1181. It traces Wenchang’s development through his many transformations culminating in his apotheosis as director of the Wenchang Palace and custodian of the Cinnamon Record that determines men’s and women’s fates. The god has since assumed a high position in the Taoist pantheon, has been introduced into the school system and Confucian temples, and now controls the all-important civil service examinations in China.

The text translated here provides a unique window into the religious world of Traditional China. Numerous anecdotes of good- and evil-doers reveal the ethical dilemmas facing men and women of the time, from social questions like infanticide and discrimination against women to more purely religious issues such as how evil gods are punished and how China’s divergent religious traditions can be reconciled.
 

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Contents

Early History of the Cult
1
The Book of Transformations
28
The Cult in Late Imperial China
68
TRANSLATION
85
1 Primordial Mandate
86
2 Flowing Form
88
3 Born as a Commoner
90
4 Changing Customs
91
38 Raining Grain
181
39 Diverting the Rain
184
40 Slaying the Bandit
186
41 The Northern Suburb
189
42 Turning Back the Fire
193
43 Pacifying Ju
194
44 The Fei Stalwarts
195
45 The Stone Oxen
201

5 Investigating Antiquity
93
6 Worshipping the Perfected
94
7 Giving Repose to my Parents
96
8 Spirit Marriage
99
9 Yuanshi
102
10 The Tame Pheasants
103
11 Diverting the Stream
105
12 Subduing the Epidemic
107
13 Loving the Living
111
14 The Celestial Office
113
15 Recommending the Worthy
115
16 Correcting Errors
117
17 Returning Home in Glory
119
18 Consideration for the Clan
122
19 Returning to Nirvana
123
20 Mount Monarch
127
21 Moved to Be Born
129
22 Serving Forebears
132
23 The Filial Friend
137
24 The Mian River
139
25 The White Colt
142
26 Recommending an Enemy for Promotion
144
27 Taking Pity on Orphans
147
28 Compassionate Instructions
149
29 Exhausting Loyalty
152
30 A Perch in Perfection
155
31 The Mountain King
159
32 Punishments and Rewards
164
33 Preserving Bao
166
34 The Whirlwind
170
3 5 Clarifying Injustice
173
36 The Town of Ju
176
37 Saving the Drowning
179
46 The Five Wives
204
47 Manifesting My Numinous Power
205
48 The Grand Elixir
209
49 Badu
212
50 Posuo
216
51 Warning the Dragons
222
52 Mount Pheonix
225
53 Yufu
229
54 Verbal Karma
233
55 The Eastern Rampart
235
56 Ox Mountain
239
57 The Daunting Power of Heaven
242
58 Esteeming Righteousness
246
59 Recognizing a Recluse
249
60 Aiding the Upright
254
61 Killing Living Creatures
256
62 Cruel Mistreatment
259
63 Commiserating with the World
261
64 Xianyang
264
65 Qiong Pool
267
66 Liberation
274
67 Benevolent Administration
277
68 The Quick and the Dead
280
69 Planning
282
70 The Ruyi Scepter
285
71 Dingwei
286
72 The Water Bureau
288
73 The Cinnamon Record
290
Extant Editions of the Book of Transformations
293
Bibliography
297
Index
321
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About the author (1994)

Terry F. Kleeman is Assistant Professor of Chinese Language and Culture in the Asian and Middle Eastern Studies Department at the University of Pennsylvania.

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