Chan Narratives about Death Premonitions and Avoidance of Fate

In: International Journal of Divination and Prognostication
Mario Poceski University of Florida Gainesville, FL US

Search for other papers by Mario Poceski in
Current site
Google Scholar
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution


Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):



The article explores the scope, content, and function of prophecies and premonitions presented in Chinese Buddhist literature, with a focus on the Chan school and the late medieval period. It is especially concerned with Chan narratives that feature premonitions about an upcoming death or demise, either one’s own or of another person. Additionally, that is related to prevalent notions about the possibility of changing individual fate (or destiny), mainly at the point of facing death or when coming to terms with the daunting prospect of a terrible afterlife. While these themes resonate with the broader Buddhist tradition, the Chan school’s production of narratives that feature this kind of thaumaturgic elements were linked to changing conceptions of exemplary religiosity, in which the Chan masters’ real supernatural power is ultimately based on their possession of superior wisdom.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 495 105 6
Full Text Views 29 5 1
PDF Views & Downloads 56 16 3