Divination was an important and distinctive aspect of religion in both ancient China and ancient Greece, and this book will provide the first systematic account and analysis of the two side by side. Who practised divination in these cultures and who consulted it? What kind of questions did they ask, and what methods were used to answer those questions? As well as these practical aspects, Lisa Raphals also examines divination as a subject of rhetorical and political narratives, and its role in the development of systematic philosophical and scientific inquiry. She explores too the important similarities, differences and synergies between Greek and Chinese divinatory systems, providing important comparative evidence to reassess Greek oracular divination.
Lisa Raphals is Professor in the Department of Philosophy, National University of Singapore and Professor of Chinese and Comparative Literature in the Philosophy Department of the University of California, Riverside. She is the author of Knowing Words: Wisdom and Cunning in the Classical Traditions of China and Greece (1992), Sharing the Light: Representations of Women and Virtue in Early China (1998) and many scholarly articles. Her research interests include comparative philosophy (China and Greece), the history of science, religion, gender and science fiction studies.