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Occultism, Witchcraft, Magic
Record Type: Review   ID: 1208

Oracles and Divination

Loewe, Michael, & Blacker, Carmen (Eds.).

 Loewe is a Lecturer in Chinese Studies at Cambridge University where Blacker is a Lecturer in Japanese. Eight of the nine chapters in this book were originally delivered as a series of lectures at Cambridge in 1979. The editors define divination as "attempt to elicit from some higher power or supernatural being the answers to questions beyond the range of ordinary human understanding. Questions about future events, about past disasters whose causes cannot be explained, about things hidden from sight or removed in space." (p. 1). Each chapter is aimed at showing how such questions were put in various civilizations, and how the oracles (answers) were transmitted and interpreted. The areas covered are Tibet, China, Japan, the Classical World, the Germanic World, the Babylonians and Hittites, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Israel, and Islam. The editors observe: "Where no higher source of wisdom is recognized as existing outside the human world, the practices become meaningless and superstitious (p. 2).
Publisher Information:Boulder, CO: Shambhala, 1981. 214p. Chapter references; 15 figures; 12 illustrations; Index: 233-244
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