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"Who Answered the Shang Diviner?: The Nature of Shang Divination"

hmesker

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I don't find the article very convincing - if divination was not regarded as communication with ancestors or spirits then the author should explain why so many sacrifices to these ancestors and spirits are mentioned on the oracle bones. Back relies heavily on Sarah Allan's 'The Shape of the Turtle' which weakens her hypothesis: the idea that the Shang saw the turtle as a model of the cosmos has convincingly been proven to be implausible by David Keightley in 'The Ancestral Landscape' (p. 93-96). Back is most likely aware of this as she frequently refers to the work of Keightley. Considering this she seems to embrace what fits her hypothesis and ignores what refutes it. I would not call that proper research.
 

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