Pub. Date:
State University of New York Press
The Shape of the Turtle: Myth, Art, and Cosmos in Early China / Edition 1

The Shape of the Turtle: Myth, Art, and Cosmos in Early China / Edition 1

by Sarah Allan


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Many Chinese philosophic concepts derive from an ancient cosmology. This work is the first reconstructions of the mythic thought of the Shang Dynasty (ca. 1700- 1100 B.C.) which laid the foundation for later Chinese patterns of thought. Allan regards the myth, cosmology, divination, sacrificial ritual, and art of the Shang as different manifestations of a common religious system and each is examined in turn, building up a coherent and consistent picture. Although primarily concerned with the Shang, this work also describes the manner in which Shang thought was transformed in the later textual tradition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780791404607
Publisher: State University of New York Press
Publication date: 02/21/1991
Series: SUNY series in Chinese Philosophy and Culture Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 248
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Sarah Allan is Lecturer in Chinese at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London University. Her previous books include The Heir and the Sage: Dynastic Legend in Early China; Legend, Lore and Religion in China: Essays in Honor of Wolfram Eberhard on his Seventieth Birthday (edited with Alvin P. Cohen), and Oracle Bone Collections in Great Britain (with Li Xueqin and Qi Wenxin).

Table of Contents



I. Introduction to the Shang

II. Sons of Suns

III. From Myth to History

IV. The Shape of the Cosmos

V. Divination and Sacrifice

VI. Art and Meaning

VII. Conclusion


Oracle Bone and Bronze inscription collections cited by an abbreviation

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