New Chapter Publication by Prof. Dr. Stéphanie Homola

Prof. Dr. Stéphanie Homola recently published a chapter, “The Encounter of the “Symbolic Chinese Science of the Yijing” with Western Modern Science in Interwar France,” in the book, The Making of the Global Yijing in the Modern World

This chapter examines the circulation and reception of the Yijing (Classic of Changes) in interwar France as one moment in the long history of the classic in France, from the work of Joachim Bouvet in the early eighteenth century to later translations in the 1960s, which led to a general Yijing craze in the 1970s. During the 1920 and 1930s, French sinologists and scholars were confronted with Chinese scholars’ attempts to relate what they called the “Symbolic Chinese Science of the Yijing” to Western modern science. Based on the cases of two Chinese scholars—Sheng Cheng (1899-1996) and Liu Zihua (1899-1992)—this work explores how these scholars integrated into French academia and how their works were received both in the academia and by the general public. It sheds light on the conception of the Yijing as a source of scientific knowledge at a time when—along with two opposing trends of Orientalism (romantic and scientific/racist) which were competing in Europe—the status of the Yijing was oscillating between sacred literature and a mere historical artifact.

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Prof. Dr. Stéphanie Homola

Elite Master Program "Standards of Decision-Making Across Cultures"

Institute for Near Eastern and East Asian Languages and Civilizations
Assistant Professor of Anthropology