Prognostication and fate in the Taiping jing: An interpretative anthology of translated and annotated primary sources

Dr. Barbara Hendrischke

The Taiping jing corpus is an important source for understanding the social and religious thought of China’s outgoing Han Dynasty. As it has been sidelined in the Chinese philological and philosophical tradition, its texts lack accessibility and are in need of editing, annotation and translation in order to become available for analysis and research into wider intellectual and religious development. The corpus combines materials that display an empire oriented active interest in achieving communal salvation with a set of texts that exclusively deal with a fearful, at times desperate, quest for personal salvation. In consequence, the authors arrive at conflicting notions of fate and prognostication, reaching from the idea that individual fate depends completely on the course of society to the belief that the prolongation of individual life must be planned and achieved through individual effort. During my stay with the consortium, I intend to prepare a bilingual anthology of relevant sections of the Taiping jing. This anthology will be accompanied by an analytical list of vocabulary items of the elaborate divinatory terminology contained in the Taiping jing.