The Book of Burial defined fengshui for the first time: it integrated various local beliefs and practices into the dominant Confucian tradition. It is, therefore, key to any understanding of Chinese culture. Based on the edition of the Book of Burial (Zang Shu) most popular during the last millennium, this translation makes available the text that links the widespread Chinese practice of fengshui (geomancy) to the fundamental beliefs and moral principles of Chinese culture. This annotation and commentary serve to place the text and the history of burial ritual in the proper cultural context. The translator's introduction, which explores the questions of the interaction between elite and folk culture and the continuity of tradition, suggests an interdisciplinary approach to the study of fengshui.
Juwen Zhang received his PhD in Folklore and Folklife from the University of Pennsylvania in 2001, and teaches as Luce Junior Professor of Chinese Language and Culture at Williamette University. His research interests include ritual symbolism, material culture, popular culture, ethnicity, identity, sociolinguistics, and Chinese and overseas Chinese folklore.
Acknowledgments; Preface by Patrica Ebrey; Introduction; Part One: The Book of Burial; 1. The Inner Chapter; 2. The Outer Chapter; 3. The Miscellaneous Chapter; Part Two: Illustrations; 1. From The Illustrations to the Annotated Classic of Burial; 2. From The Revised New Book of Earth Principles; 3. From The Classis of Jade Rulers; Glossary; Bibliography; Index