Richard J. Smith
George and Nancy Rupp Professor of Humanities and Professor of History
Under construction, contents updated 10-19-2015
Glossaries for Fathoming the Cosmos and Ordering the World: The Yijing (I-Ching, or Classic of Changes)
and Its Evolution in China
A. Names (People, Places, etc.)
B. Titles (Books, Chapters, etc.)
C. Terms and Expressions
D. Hexagram Glossary (Alphabetical)
E. Hexagram Glossary (Received Text Order )
F. Mawangdui Hexagram Glossary (Alphabetical)
II. Some Yijing-related writings
A. "Translations of Hexagram Names"
B. "Jesuit Interpretations of the Yijing"
C. "Meditation, Divination and Dream Interpretation"
D. "The Changes as a Mirror of the Mind"
E. "The Yijing (Classic of Changes) in Global Perspective: Some Reflections"
F. "Key Concepts of Fate and Prediction in the Yijing"
G. "Education about Asia article"
H. "Education about Asia article appendix"
I. "Some Divination-related terms (glossary) 1-13-12"
J. "Some Yijing-related terms (glossary) 1-13-12"
K. "Psychology of divination in cross-cultural perspective (6-26-10)"
III. Some Yijing-related photographs (Coming soon)
A. Chinese texts and images
B. Transnational texts and images
Quoted from the Princeton University Press web site:
The I Ching originated in China as a divination manual more than three thousand years ago. In 136 BCE
the emperor declared it a Confucian classic, and in the centuries that followed, this work had a profound
influence on the philosophy, religion, art, literature, politics, science, technology, and medicine of various
cultures throughout East Asia. Jesuit missionaries brought knowledge of the I Ching to Europe in the
seventeenth century, and the American counterculture embraced it in the 1960s. Here Richard Smith tells
the extraordinary story of how this cryptic and once obscure book became one of the most widely read and
extensively analyzed texts in all of world literature.
In this concise history, Smith traces the evolution of the I Ching in China and throughout the world,
explaining its complex structure, its manifold uses in different cultures, and its enduring appeal. He shows
how the indigenous beliefs and customs of Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and Tibet "domesticated" the text, and
he reflects on whether this Chinese classic can be compared to religious books such as the Bible or the
Qur'an. Smith also looks at how the I Ching came to be published in dozens of languages, providing insight
and inspiration to millions worldwide -- including ardent admirers in the West such as Leibniz, Carl Jung,
Philip K. Dick, Allen Ginsberg, Hermann Hesse, Bob Dylan, Jorge Luis Borges, and I.M. Pei. Smith offers
an unparalleled biography of the most revered book in China's entire cultural tradition, and he shows us
how this enigmatic ancient classic has become a truly global phenomenon.
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Quoted from this site:
Fathoming the Cosmos and Ordering the World is the first full-length study in any Western language of the
development of the Yijing in China from earliest times to the present. Drawing on the most recent
scholarship in both Asian and Western languages, Richard J. Smith offers a fresh perspective on virtually
every aspect of Yijing theory and practice for some three thousand years. Smith introduces the reader to the
major works, debates, and schools of interpretation surrounding this ancient text, and he shows not only
how the Classic of Changes was used in China as a book of divination but also how it served as a source of
philosophical, psychological, literary, and artistic inspiration.
Among its major contributions, this study reveals with many vivid examples the richness, diversity, vitality,
and complexity of traditional Chinese thought. In the process, it deconstructs a number of time-honored
interpretive binaries that have adversely affected our understanding of the Yijing--most notably the sharp
distinction between the "school of images and numbers" (xiangshu) and the "school of meanings and
principles" (yili). The book also demonstrates that, contrary to prevailing opinion among Western scholars,
the rise of "evidential research" (kaozheng xue) in late imperial China did not necessarily mean the decline
of Chinese cosmology. Smith’s study reveals a far more nuanced intellectual outlook on the part of even
the most dedicated kaozheng scholars, as well as the remarkable persistence of Chinese "correlative"
thinking to this very day. Finally, by exploring the fascinating modern history of the Yijing, Fathoming the
Cosmos and Ordering the World attests to the tenacity, flexibility, and continuing relevance of this most
remarkable Chinese classic.
Richard J. Smith is George and Nancy Rupp Professor of Humanities and Professor of History at Rice
University. He is author, coauthor, or coeditor of a dozen scholarly books, including China’s Cultural
Heritage: The Qing Dynasty, 1644-1912 and Cosmology, Ontology, and Human Efficacy: Essays in