Vincent Goossaert's talk on the ritual production of revelation in Chinese religious history
This talk will provide an overview of the modes of producing revelations in Chinese religious history, based on my recently published book Making the Gods Speak (Cambridge, Harvard University Asia Center, 2022). It will focus on a five-fold typology of modes of revelation, based on narratives about the revelatory events, the ritual techniques mobilized, and the form of the revealed contents. By using criteria such as the presence of witnesses, the existence of a known and replicable ritual technique used, and the types of agencies ascribed to human and divine actors, it distinguishes ideal types that help us navigate the ever-growing and remarkably diverse world of divine speak in Chinese cultures. Hopefully it will also prove useful for transcultural comparisons.
About the speaker
Vincent Goossaert, EPHE, PSL is a historian of Chinese religions. He previously focused on institutions and regulations but recently concentrated more on practices (spiritual exercises) and ideas (history of eschatologies).