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“Above and Below” and “Inside and Outside” in Chu Bamboo Texts: With Comments on the Classification of Spirits and Numen in Sacrificial Rites by Chu People

楚簡中的 “上下” 與 “內外” — 兼論楚人祭禮中的神靈分類問題

In: Bamboo and Silk
Author:
Hua Yang (楊華) Center for Studies of Traditional Chinese Culture (武漢大學 中國傳統文化研究中心) Wuhan University Center for Bamboo and Silk Manuscripts, “Paleography and Chinese Civilization Inheritance and Development Program” Collaborative Problem-Solving Innovation Platform, Wuhan University (武漢大學簡帛研究中心、"古文字與中華文明傳承發展工程"協同攻關創新平台) Wuhan (武漢)

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Abstract

The Chu ghosts and spirits are divided into those “above” and those “below.” “Above” and “below” cannot be understood only as referring to heavenly spirits and earthly deities but should include also ancestral spirits. The Chu people’s sacrifices and prayers are also divided into those “internal” and “external.” This distinction is a spatial one that is not based on blood relations. The complete, well-organized system of heavenly spirits, earthly deities, and human ghosts had not fully formed in Warring States Chu culture.

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