'Ritual and Risk in Chinese Divination Rituals': A Comment on 'Divination and Power' by Rowan K. Flad

Kyriakidis, E. (2008) 'Ritual and Risk in Chinese Divination Rituals': A Comment on 'Divination and Power' by Rowan K. Flad. Current Anthropology, 49 (3). p. 426. ISSN 0011-3204 . (The full text of this publication is not available from this repository)

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Abstract

The performance of ritual is infested with risk. Risk of one's status as a competent performer, risk of one's projected social status, risk of intervention and interruption by human and superhuman agents. Chinese oracle bone divination rituals, based on the interpretation of the cracking of the bones aftrer firing, where in the Lower Xiajiadian culture enriched with a specific pretreatment of these 'oracle-bones'. This preparation of bones included the drilling of holes to make the cracking of the bones more predictable. This was a strategy to mitigate risk and was soon to spread to oracle bones accross China. It is argued in this short paper that the element of risk was the motive behind the spread of this practice.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
D History General and Old World > DS Asia
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages
Depositing User: Evangelos Kyriakidis
Date Deposited: 15 Apr 2009 10:21
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2010 14:30
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/8269 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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