The Shape of the Turtle: Myth, Art, and Cosmos in Early China

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State University of New York Press, 1991 - History - 230 pages
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Many Chinese philosophic concepts derive from an ancient cosmology. This work is the first reconstructions of the mythic thought of the Shang Dynasty (ca. 1700- 1100 B.C.) which laid the foundation for later Chinese patterns of thought. Allan regards the myth, cosmology, divination, sacrificial ritual, and art of the Shang as different manifestations of a common religious system and each is examined in turn, building up a coherent and consistent picture. Although primarily concerned with the Shang, this work also describes the manner in which Shang thought was transformed in the later textual tradition.

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Review: The Shape of the Turtle

User Review  - Latique - Goodreads

An interesting read, but completely bogged down with the characters used for oracle bone divination and how they might represent more modern Chinese characters. The mythology and looking at images on ... Read full review

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About the author (1991)

Sarah Allan is Lecturer in Chinese at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London University. Her previous books include The Heir and the Sage: Dynastic Legend in Early China; Legend, Lore and Religion in China: Essays in Honor of Wolfram Eberhard on his Seventieth Birthday (edited with Alvin P. Cohen), and Oracle Bone Collections in Great Britain (with Li Xueqin and Qi Wenxin).

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