Chinese traditional culture cannot be understood without some familiarity with the I Ching, yet it is one of the most difficult of the worlds ancient classics. Assembled from fragments with many obscure allusions, it was the subject of ingenious, but often conflicting, interpretations over nearly three thousand years. Teaching the II Ching (Book of Changes) offers a comprehensive study at a time when interest in Asian philosophy and the culture of China is on the rise. Still widely read in China, it has become a countercultural classic in the West. Recent scholarship has radically altered our understanding of this foundational work. Geoffrey Redmond and Tze-Ki Hon present an up-to-date survey of recent studies including reconstruction of the early meanings, excavated manuscripts, the New Culture Movement, and the Cultural Revolution. To facilitate introducing the classic to students, the necessary background is provided for university teachers and students, even non-China specialists. The teaching approaches described will foreground the otherness of the classic, yet engage the interests of twenty-first-century students.
Rather than dismissing the texts popular association with divination, they explain why this mode of human thought has persisted for millennia. Thus, Redmond and Hon mediate between the two extreme views of the classic: a source of timeless ancient wisdom on the one hand, and a historical curiosity on the other. Teaching the I Ching (Book of Changes) makes this important classic accessible to a broad readership, thus providing a crucial service for those interested in China, early civilization, and world religion. Now anyone with a serious interest can understand a text that continues to have a decisive influence on Chinese and world culture three thousand years after its original composition.
Geoffrey Redmond's dual background is in textual criticism, which he studied at the University of Virginia under the eminent philologist Fredson Bowers, and biomedical science, which he studied at Columbia and Rockefeller Universities. His research concerns systematic cosmological thought in the ancient and modern world, using the ancient Zhouyi as a primary source His six published books include Science and Asian Spiritual Traditions. He has lectured extensively in Asia, Europe, and North America Tze-ki Hon is Professor of History at the State University of New York at Geneseo.He is the author of The Yijing and Chinese Politics: Classical Commentary and Literati Activism in the Northern Song Period, 960-1127. His articles and book reviews have appeared in the American Historical Review, China Review International, Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy, Journal of Asian Studies, Journal of Chinese Philosophy, Journal of Chinese Studies, Modern China, Monumenta Serica, and Philosophy East and West.
Preface ; Acknowledgements ; Chronology of Chinese Dynasties ; Structure of the Yijing ; List of Illustrations ; Introduction: Studying an Ancient Classic ; Chapter 1 Divination: Fortune-Telling and Philosophy ; Chapter 2 Bronze Age Origins ; Chapter 3 Women in the Book of Changes ; Chapter 4 Excavated Manuscripts ; Chapter 5 Ancient Meanings Reconstructed ; Chapter 6 The Ten Wings ; Chapter 7 Cosmology ; Chapter 8 Moral Cultivation ; Chapter 9 The Yijing in Modern China ; Chapter 10 The Yijing's Journey to the West ; Chapter 11 Reading the Book of Changes ; Chapter 12 The Future of the Yijing ; Bibliography ; Index