Reviews 189 Terry F. Kleeman. A God's Own Tale: TheBook of Transformations of Wenchang, the Divine Lord ofZitong. Suny Series in Chinese Philosophy and Culture. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1994. xvi, 335 pp. Hardcover, isbn 0-7914-2001-9. Paperback $19.95, isbn 0-7914-2002-7. This is an outstanding pioneering work in several respects. From fhe standpoint of history of religions, it presents an interesting example of multi-cult interactions and eventual absorptions of several cult objects into one major cult figure. From the standpoint of history and literature, it shows the intimate links between secular and sacred history, and between secular and sacred literature. The Introduction includes a discussion of the "Early History of the Cult" of the god Wenchang, Divine Lord ofZitong (two titles of the same deity) (pp. 127); next it discusses the Book of Transformations, an autobiography created by spirit-writing, inspired by the god himself, in 1181 (pp. 28-66); and then it follows a short report on the "Cult in Late Imperial China" (pp. 68-83). The bulk of the book is the translation of the seventy-three chapters (pp. 85292); each chapter consists of eight poetic stanzas, followed by interpretations that also were provided by the deity through
China Review International – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Mar 30, 1997
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