Workshop "Divination in Chinese Religions" | 10.-11.12.2019

The International Consortium for Research in the Humanities "Fate, Freedom and Prognostication. Strategies for Coping with the Future in East Asia and Europe" (IKGF) of the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg announces the Workshop “Divination in Chinese Religions” on December 10 and 11, 2019.

Date: 10.-11.12.2019

Time: 9 AM

Event titel: “Divination in Chinese Religions”

Event type: Workshop

Organiser category: Funding projects

Organiser: International Consortium for Research in the Humanities "Fate, Freedom and Prognostication. Strategies for Coping with the Future in East Asia and Europe" (IKGF)

Location: IKGF seminar room in building D1, Hartmannstr. 14, 91052 Erlangen

Conveners: Philip Clart (Leipzig University), Fabrizio Pregadio (IKGF Erlangen), and Matthias Schumann (IKGF Erlangen)

What is it about?

This workshop explores the role of divination within Chinese religious history. Divination is a complex term, which denotes various practices and techniques that aim to reveal the hidden significance of events or knowledge related to the future. Associated practices and techniques include both technical calculations as well as more intuitive, inspired forms of divination. The role of divination in Chinese religious history varied accordingly, ranging from the use of astrology for ritual means to the revelation of Buddhist prophecies.

The aim

The aim of this workshop is to explore the various functions of divination both within the established religious communities as well as in local cults and popular religious movements. In addition, the workshop will also consider the more critical views that are attested in official religious discourse. While divinatory practices are just as ubiquitous within the religious field as they are in Chinese society more generally, divination retained a streak of the unorthodox and a critique of associated practices could be used for the sake of self-legitimation and identity construction.


December 10, 2019

9:00 a. m.
Welcome Address


9:20 a. m. 
State, Religion, and Divination in Premodern China
Edward Shaughnessy (Chicago University)

10:10 a. m.    
Coffee Break

10:40 a. m.    
State, Religion, and Divination in Modern China
Stéphanie Homola (FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg)

11:30 a. m.    
Women and Chinese Divination
Elena Valussi (Loyola University Chicago)


1:30 p. m.    
The Yijing in Daoist Ritual Traditions
Barbara Hendrischke (University of Sydney)

2:10 p. m.    
The Yijing in Daoist Self-Cultivation Traditions
Fabrizio Pregadio (IKGF Erlangen)

2:50 p. m.    
Coffee Break

3:20 p. m.  
The Yijing in Chinese Buddhism
Beverley Foulks McGuire (University of North Carolina Wilmington)


4:00 p. m.  
Chinese Taoist Temple Divination
Adeline Herrou (LESC, Paris)


4:40 p. m.    
"Master Feng, Taoist Monk in China Today"
directed by A. Herrou

December 11, 2019

Spirit-Inspired Divination

9:00 a. m.    
Spirit-Mediums and Divination in China
Brigitte Baptandier (LESC, Paris)

9:40 a. m.    
Spirit-Writing and Postmortem Destiny
Vincent Goossaert (EPHE, PSL)

10:20 a. m.  
Coffee Break

10:50 a. m.    
Chinese Spirit-Writing Cults
Philip Clart (Leipzig University)

11:30 a. m.    
Spirit-Writing in 20th-Century Redemptive Societies
Matthias Schumann (IKGF Erlangen)


1:20 p. m.    
Temporality, Cognition, and the Predictive Mode in Weft Confucian Discourse
Grégoire Espesset (EPHE, Paris)

2:00 p. m.    
Prophecy in Daoism
Dominic Steavu (University of California Santa Barbara)

2:40 p. m.    
Coffee Break

3:10 p. m.    
Prophecy in Chinese Buddhism
Mario Poceski (University of Florida/IKGF)


3:50 p. m.    
Astrology and the Astral Pantheon in Medieval China
Jeffrey Kotyk (McMaster University)

Critical Views and Concluding Discussion

4:30 p. m.    
Religion, Divination, and the Elites
Michael Lackner (IKGF Erlangen)

Daoism and Divination
Fabrizio Pregadio (IKGF Erlangen)

Chinese Buddhism and Divination
Esther-Maria Guggenmos (IKGF Erlangen)