Reviews 491 John C. Didier. "In and Outside the Square: The Sky and the Power of Belief in Ancient China and the World, c. 4500 b.c.a.d. 200." 3 volumes. Sino-Platonic Papers 192 (September 2009). Edited by Victor Mair. Online publication, free download at www.sino-platonic.org. issn 2157-9687. This unique work is a massive study accomplished over a short ten-year period. Didier's text surpasses the work and methodology of the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century anthropologist Franz Boas and the schools of social sciences and humanists who held the theory of "mutually dependent cultural fertilization." The theory of mutually dependent cultural fertilization stands opposed to the theories of twentieth-century science-oriented scholars, such as Rolf Stein. Stein's renowned 1964 seminar at the Sorbonne, Paris, pointed out that human responses to observable natural phenomena in cultural or spiritual cultivation contexts tend to record the same observed results. By Stein's theory, although there may be overlap or agreement between different cultures as to the nature of observed phenomena, there is not necessarily a mutual influence or an Indo-European origin to the concepts or ideographic images found in early Chinese and other Asian sources. In particular, the Big Dipper is recognizable across the entire
China Review International – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Jul 13, 2009
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