Divination and Power

@article{Flad2008DivinationAP,
  title={Divination and Power},
  author={Rowan K. Flad},
  journal={Current Anthropology},
  year={2008},
  volume={49},
  pages={403 - 437}
}
Divination is a ritual practice frequently employed as a source of social and political power. Elaborate forms of divination can be crucial to state control and have widespread influence. In ancient China as elsewhere, divination was the domain of ritual specialists who used their skills to mediate uncertainty, but the role that these specialists played in society differed considerably from one place to another. An examination of divination remains from the Neolithic, Shang, and Zhou periods of… Expand
Questioning religious essentialism – Ritual change and religious instability in ancient China
This paper challenges the recurring theme in archaeological research that places religions at the core of social identity. It investigates the theoretical literature that has influenced howExpand
The cultural evolution of epistemic practices: the case of divination
  • K Hong
  • Sociology
  • 2021
Although a substantial literature in anthropology and comparative religion explores divination across diverse societies and back into history, little research has integrated the older ethnographicExpand
The Cultural Evolution of Epistemic Practices : The Case of Divination.
  • Ze Hong, J. Henrich
  • Sociology, Medicine
  • Human nature
  • 2021
TLDR
Evidence is presented showing that divination practices are often best viewed as an epistemic technology, and scenarios under which individuals may overestimate the efficacy of divination that contribute to its cultural omnipresence and historical persistence are modeled. Expand
Divination and interpretation of signs in the ancient world
The concept of sign, a portent observed in the physical world, which indicates future events, is found in all ancient cultures, but was first developed in ancient Mesopotamian texts. This branch ofExpand
Religion, Violence, and Emotion: Modes of Religiosity in the Neolithic and Bronze Age of Northern China
This paper explores the development of religious traditions in the Neolithic and Bronze Age of northern China. It applies the cognitive anthropological theory of Divergent Modes of Religiosity (DMR)Expand
Civilisation in This Book
The characteristics of civilisation that we wish to highlight are that it is a self-fashioning and encompassing ideology of products, practices, and images. It is a transmission of ideals throughExpand
Standardizing Ethics East and West
  • F. S. Topor
  • Examining Ethics and Intercultural Interactions in International Relations
  • 2020
A basic element that separates primates from Homo sapiens is language, which serves as a socializing catalyst for interpersonal and intercultural communication. Linguistic rules can be regarded asExpand
Civilisation: A Critical and Constructive Review
Civilisation has for many decades been a rejected concept in anthropology and sociology because of its past evolutionary and Eurocentric misuses. Our reason for reintroducing it is that it willExpand
Divination in the Han shu Bibliographic Treatise
With the major exception of the Yi jing, we have neither formal canons nor commentaries for most early Chinese mantic traditions. Indirect reflections on these traditions appear in scatteredExpand
Rethinking Ritual Rethinking ritual and the excavation of archaeological deposits at Shang sites
Studies on ritual in the early Chinese Bronze Age have focused primarily on practices surrounding divination, feasting, and sacrifice. These traditions are supported historically with divinationExpand
...
1
2
3
4
5
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 276 REFERENCES
Divination By Shells, Bones and Stalks During the Han Period
From the foregoing it may be seen that many Chinese of the Han period retained a deep faith in the powers of divination. Deliberate attempts to search for guidance in this way possessed aExpand
Ritual Craft Specialists in Middle Range Societies
This chapter focuses on the social identity of specialists who produced items used in ritual contexts in prehistoric middle range societies. After introducing two prehistoric case studies (MimbresExpand
Ideology, Materialization, and Power Strategies
Ideology, as part of culture, is an integral component of human interactions and the power strategies that configure sociopolitical systems. We argue that ideology is materialized, or given concreteExpand
Ritual and rationality: some problems of interpretation in European archaeology
AbstractThis paper argues that the conception of ritual employed in both archaeology and anthropology is a product of post-Enlightenment rationalism. Because it does not meet modern western criteriaExpand
The Religious Commitment: Shang Theology and the Genesis of Chinese Political Culture
The triumphs of Chinese civilization-its ethic of social benevolence, its bureaucracy open to talent, its belles lettres and painting, its major public works-have not generally been regarded asExpand
Ritual or Structure? Analysis of Burial Elaboration at Dadianzi, Inner Mongolia
For an analysis of the Early Bronze Age cemetery site at Dadianzi in Inner Mongolia a model is proposed which combines aspects of various anthropological approaches to burial studies. TheExpand
Divinatory and Sacrificial Rites
Some eighty Ugaritic texts provide almost the only written evidence-in a WestSemitic language and from a period pre-dating the Hebrew Bible-regarding ritual and divinatory practice in the LevantineExpand
Ritual in the Aegean: The Minoan Peak Sanctuaries
The function of this monograph is dual. Firstly it creates a methodology on how to identify ritual in prehistoric archaeology, and identifies the limitations of any such identification. It alsoExpand
Divining Troubles, or Divining Troubles?: Emergent and Conflictual Dimensions of Bangladeshi Divination
Divination is more dialogical than some diviners or anthropologists have made it appear. I analyze the transcript of one Bangladeshi divination event, comparing it with a dozen others performed byExpand
Toward a Theory of Divinatory Practice
Divination has been practiced as a way of knowing and communicating for millennia. Diviners are experts who embrace the notion of moving from a boundless to a bounded realm of existence in theirExpand
...
1
2
3
4
5
...