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Unformatted text preview: Shamans, Diviners, and Scribes: Politics and Religion in the Shang and early Zhou Dyansty Ancient Chinese religion basics: Religion is diffuse : A supernatural world populated with spirits: ancestors and nature elements, such as the four quarters (East, West, North, and South), rivers and mountains, wind and rain The order of Nature mirrors human order. Works in reverse: Do the proper thing at the proper time and both nature and human society will be in order. Fail and the political order will fail, social chaos and natural disasters are part of the failure. Order means hierarchy: Only certain groups/clans sanctioned to rule, to possess wealth, to perform exclusive rituals. Cults of clan ancestors, nature deities Shamanism is the substrate: Mediums communicate with ancestors and deities through trance, performed at special rituals. But shamans cannot always be controlled (the human element) Divination is rational and controllable. Sense of control extends to functions of divination:...
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This note was uploaded on 04/20/2008 for the course ANS 302C taught by Professor Boretz during the Fall '07 term at University of Texas at Austin.
- Fall '07