Workshop “Divination and the Strange in Pre- and Early Modern East Asia and Europe”

On October 27-28 the International Consortium for Research in the Humanities "Fate, Freedom and Prognostication. Strategies for Coping with the Future in East Asia and Europe" of the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg hosted a workshop on "Divination and the Strange in Pre- and Early Modern East Asia and Europe".

During the workshop experts from various countries exchanged their scientific findings, assess "the strange" in relation to divinatory practices and their corresponding worldviews, and thereby provided new perspectives on the customs and beliefs common in pre- and early modern East Asia and Europe.
Records describing events perceived as anomalies, such as occurrence of monsters, strange births, bodily deformities, gender transformations and demonic possessions, appear in both East Asian and European written sources. Although in China the testimonies regarding such strange phenomena were often included in official histories, leading to the development of the special literary genre of zhiguai, these stories were most often treated as amusing anecdotes that gave expression to the literary brilliance of their authors. While the majority of the contributions concentrate on appearances and events perceived as anomalies in the Chinese cultural milieu, the International Consortium for Research in the Humanities has tried to provide a comparative outlook on the subject matter by including articles dealing with similar phenomena in other cultures, specifically, in Japan, Korea, and Europe.

For further information, please see here.