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主講人：Prof. Stéphanie Homola賀樊怡（法國國家科學研究院副研究員）
Based on long-term fieldwork conducted in Taipei, Beijing, and Kaifeng, this work explores the multi-faceted dimensions of fate-calculation – a widespread social and cultural phenomena in contemporary Chinese societies. Within the broader field of the anthropology of divination, I address fate calculation both as a social institution and as an intellectual activity. This combined approach requires studying as an interdependent whole different aspects which are often separate: specialists’ work and expertise, clients’ practices, mantic techniques, the historical evolution of such knowledge and practice and their relationship with the State. First, I examine the legitimization processes of divinatory arts, their adaptation to modern classifications of knowledge, and the status of fate calculation experts in contemporary societies. Second, I focus on the cognitive processes through which fate calculation enables actors to analyze situations, give meaning to them, and find solutions to their problems. Departing from a conception of a shared and uniform “worldview” that would unconsciously guide people’s behavior, this work rather aims at examining the concrete processes through which various actors learn and gradually form cosmological interpretations of the world in certain contexts of social life. It shows how notions of fate and fate calculation circulate in contemporary societies and come to form a common knowledge which, despite a shared vocabulary, may vary greatly in details and interpretations. Fate calculation resists uniformization and institutionalization, not only because of the stigma of “superstition” but also because of its internal dynamic.
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