An Introduction to Feng Shui (Introduction to Religion) by Ole Bruun

By Ole Bruun

Feng Shui has been recognized within the West for the final one hundred fifty years yet has generally been considered as a primitive superstition. through the smooth interval successive regimes in China have suppressed its perform. even though, within the previous couple of a long time Feng Shui has turn into an international religious stream with expert institutions, hundreds of thousands of titles released at the topic, numerous web pages dedicated to it and thousands of clients. during this ebook Ole Bruun explains Feng Shui's chinese language origins and meanings in addition to its more moderen Western interpretations and worldwide charm. not like the abundance of well known manuals, his advent treats chinese language Feng Shui as a tutorial topic, bridging faith, background and sociology. person chapters clarify: • the chinese language religious-philosophical historical past • chinese language makes use of in rural and concrete parts • the heritage of Feng Shui's reinterpretation within the West • environmental views and different matters

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Then came a series of articles by Joseph Edkins in 1872, also in the Chinese Recorder and Missionary Journal, and in 1873, Ernest Johann Eitel (a German missionary and linguist serving in Guangzhou and later having several posts in Hong Kong) wrote his monograph on feng shui, the first of its kind in a western language, as well as the first western publication not entirely dismissing feng shui as plain superstition. M. de Groot (1854–1921) started publishing his monumental work, The Religious Systems of China (1892–1910, 6 volumes), which included the first comprehensive study of Chinese feng shui (see Chapter 4).

Foreign enterprises insisted, and Jardine organized a company to build a little tramway from Shanghai towards the Wusong port (completed in 1875) in defiance of the Chinese authorities. Despite the first section being only a few kilometres long, it was given tremendous symbolic value since its proprietors, who included Chinese shareholders, hoped that once the little railway had proven its worth it would end the Chinese reservations about railways. It had been built with an oddly winding track to avoid accusations of interference with the feng shui of the region and disturbance of graves and spirits.

Taken together, Chinese and western sources indicate that divination became a social phenomenon of extraordinary importance. Throughout the grand course of Chinese history, divination was of crucial importance. Yet it may be said to have evolved from a privileged practice performed on A brief history of feng shui 31 behalf of kings, emperors and nobility to a practice performed on behalf of everyday people; a simultaneous trend was the change from a more passive practice to avoid disaster to an active practice in search for good fortune (J.

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