The Book of Changes and Constancy in Change

In this course, students will become acquainted with the most popular and well-known book, Yijing (I CHING). Yijing is the most profound and complex of all the works in pre-modern Chinese literature, and also one of the most marvellous books and divinatory systems of knowledge the world has ever seen. Yijing is unique that it builds a creative system around innovative symbols (“hexagrams”), and combines these symbols with prognosticatory text related to history, philosophy, literature, mathematics, business, and traditional Chinese medicine.

 

This course will focus especially on its composition and the context behind its layered production, and discuss different strategies for how this text has been interpreted throughout history, both in China and globally. The students will get behind the veil of mysticism by addressing the fundamentals of its knowledge system – “change” and how it dictates and permeates all things, while at the same appreciating these text’s literary value and social contexts.

 

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