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Comparative Remarks on Tibetan Dice and Mālā Divination: Tools, Poetry, Structures, and Ritual Dimensions
Divining with Achi and Tārā is a book on Tibetan methods of prognostics with dice and prayer beads ( mālā). Jan-Ulrich Sobisch offers a thorough discussion of Chinese, Indian, Turkic, and Tibetan traditions of divination, its techniques, rituals, tools, and poetic language. Interviews with Tibetan masters of divination introduce the main part with a translation of a dice divination manual of the deity Achi that is still part of a living tradition. Solvej Nielsen contributes further interviews, a mālā divination of Tārā and its oral tradition, and very useful glossaries of the terminology of Tibetan divination and fortune telling. Appendices provide lists of deities and spirits and of numerous identified ritual remedies and supports that are an essential element of a still vibrant Tibetan culture.
The last of four two-volume sets on the key periods of paradigm shift in Chinese religious and cultural history, this book examines the transformation of values in China since 1850, in the “secular” realms of economics, science, medicine, aesthetics, media, and gender, and in each of the major religions (Confucianism, Buddhism, Daoism, Christianity) as well as in Marxist discourse. The nation and science are the values invoked most frequently, with the market and democracy a distant second. As in previous periods of fundamental change in Chinese history, rationalization and secularization have played central roles, but interiorization nearly disappears as a driving force. Also in continuity with the past, the state insists on an exclusive right to define and adjudicate orthodoxy.
Contributors include: Daniel H. Bays, Sébastien Billioud, Adam Yuet Chau, Na Chen, Philip Clart, Walter B. Davis, Arif Dirlik, Thomas David DuBois, Lizhu Fan, David Faure, Melissa Wei-Tsing Inouye, Ji Zhe, Xiaofei Kang, Eric I. Karchmer, André Laliberté, Angela Ki Che Leung, Xun Liu, Richard Madsen, David Ownby, Ellen Oxfeld, Volker Scheid, Grace Yen Shen, Michael Szonyi, Wang Chien-ch’uan, Xue Yu