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Saturday, February 20, 2016

The Duke of Zhou Changes: A Study and Annotated Translation of the Zhouyi 周易

Author and Translator:
Stephen L. Field

Publication Year:
2015

Publisher:
Harrassowitz Verlag



Abstract:

The Zhouyi, Bronze Age progenitor to the Yijing (I Ching), or Book of Changes, was a divination manual created and utilized by the early rulers of the Zhou dynasty (founded 1046 BCE). This new translation dispenses with 20th century attempts to discredit tradition and endeavors to recover the context of its early Zhou dynasty origins. As such, interpretation of its language is based strictly upon pre-Confucian sources to avoid the anachronistic readings that accrued to the text in its evolution from a book of divination to a book of philosophy. For the first time in the book’s translation history, its judgment and line texts have been clearly labeled according to their content - either omen, counsel, or prognostication - in order to clarify their divinatory function. Furthermore, each hexagram is accompanied by a line-by-line commentary providing detailed background for the situations presented in the texts and explicating metaphorical language and technical syntax. The general public will appreciate the narrative cohesion of the commentaries, while the specialist will welcome the appended Chinese text. Finally, the book also provides the reader with explanations of the myth, legend, and history in the formative stages of the Zhouyi’s creation and gives comprehensive information on how to cast the oracle and interpret the resulting reading.

Table of Contents:

Introduction
Chinese Periods and Dynasties

Part 1. The Origin of the Zhouyi
1.1 A Short History of the Ancient Chinese
1.2 Ancient Chinese Divination
1.3 The Mythical Origins of the Yijing
1.4 The Historical Origin of the Yijing

Part 2. The Hexagram Texts

Part 3. Practical Applications
3.1 Casting the Yijing
3.1.1 Preparing for the Ritual
3.1.2 Formulating the Question
3.1.3 How to Cast the Milfoil
3.1.4 How to Cast the Coin Oracle
3.2 How to Interpret a Reading

Glossary
Bibliography
Index
Hexagram Location Chart


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