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The Yijing (Classic of Changes) in Global Perspective: Some Pedagogical Reflections

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a man holding two bundles of milfoil stalks
A diviner using milfoil stalks to select a hexagram. Image source: The Supernatural Signs of Things to Come, by Angus Hall. ©1975 Aldus Books Limited

What is our objective when we teach about Asian history and culture in our classrooms? One goal is to help stu­dents understand other cultures, to appreciate other ways of worldmaking.1 There is an obvious payoff to this, quite apart from the joy of peddling our own academic wares. As Clif­ford Geertz points out, the greater the reach of our minds—that is, the broader the “range of signs we can manage somehow to inter­pret” in our effort to understand the cultural ways of “other” peo­ple—the more expansive and rich our own “intellectual, emotion­al, and moral space” will become.”2 At the same time, a sympa­thetic engagement with the “other” defamiliarizes what may appear to be normative. In other words, a sincere effort to appreci­ate the way “alien” cultures see the world provides our students with fresh perspectives on their own ways of worldmaking.3

In The Implied Spider: Politics and Theology in Myth (1998), the ever provocative Wendy Doniger argues that the first step on the road to cross-cultural understanding is to assume “the self in the Other,” to look, in other words, for fundamental similarities and affinities. But then, she says, we should “go over to the other side,” ending up with difference. The key point, Doniger empha­sizes, is that “similarity must not be allowed to become norma­tive.” She writes:

The challenge [of meaningful cross-cultural comparisons] lies in choosing as the Other in whom we assume an initial likeness an Other as other as possible, as different from us as possible, perhaps one we don’t like or understand at all at first and have to work hard to like or understand. The comparison that chooses an Other in which the initial like­ness is more immediately apparent is more ethnocentric; it is easier, and ultimately it proves less.4

I am not at all sure that cultural comparisons can ever “prove” anything, but the idea of using radical difference as a tool to achieve a greater understanding of the “other” is intriguing and worth pursuing.

In the Doniger spirit, I will try to show how the radically “other” Chinese work known as the Yijing or Classic of Changes (also know as the Book of Changes) can be employed as a means not only of understanding the Other, but also of knowing one’s self—which is, of course, the other’s Other.

Many modern-minded people, Chinese and non-Chinese alike, have given the Yijing a bad rap. Even highly respected China specialists have described it as a work of “awesome obscu­rity.”5 Yet the book can easily be made accessible, intellectually interesting, and even personally meaningful6 to undergraduate students in the West, once it has been demystified. My goal in this brief article is to indicate ways this might be done. Additional suggestions may be found under “Some Ideas for Research” in the three part supplement to this article found at

As the “Topically Organized Bibliography” (TOB) of this sup­plement indicates, we now have enough high-quality translations and Yijing-related books and articles in Western languages— including first-rate reference works such as Zhang Dainian’s Key Concepts in Chinese Philosophy (2002) and Bent Nielsen’s indis­pensable Companion to Yi jing Numerology and Cosmology (2003)—to enable our undergraduate students to do interesting, broad-ranging, solid work on the Changes without having to read Chinese or Japanese.8 My hope is that Nielsen’s book, together with the word-searchable research suggestions and TOB available at will guide and inspire stu­dents in their personal voyages of discovery.9 Lectures can pique interest, but intellectual excitement grows from personal engagement.

There are three points about the Classic of Changes that all students of East Asian history should appreciate. The first is that the book is essential to a basic understanding of Chinese history and culture, which for at least three thousand years has regarded divination as a mainstream belief system, not a marginal or counter-cultural one. The second is that the Yijing provides a fas­cinating and illuminating example of “globalization”—by which I mean the transnational circulation of ideas, products (including texts and technologies), practices, and people. And the third is that the Changes offers rich comparative possibilities, not only within the framework of Chinese history, but also beyond it.

. . . it is worth noting that over the past two millennia or so, the Yijing has been, with the exception of the Bible, the most widely read and extensively commented upon book in all of world literature.

As to the first point, for some two thousand years, into the twentieth century, the Changes enjoyed unparalleled prestige as “the first of the [Chinese] classics.” Here is a description of the work from China’s most important literary compendium, the Siku quanshu (Complete Collection of the Four Treasuries), compiled n the eighteenth century: “The way of the Changes is broad and great. It encompasses everything, including astronomy, geogra­phy, music, military methods, the study of rhymes, numerical cal­culations, and even alchemy.”10 This statement is not far off the mark. Even a cursory glance at the indexes of books listed in the TOB, Section VI, will reveal that virtually no aspect of traditional Chinese culture was untouched by the Changes, from language, literature, art, and music, to philosophy, religion, politics, military affairs, social life, mathematics, medicine, and science.11

As to the second point, it is worth noting that over the past two millennia or so, the Yijing has been, with the exception of the Bible, the most widely read and extensively commented upon book in all of world literature. This is not only because of its profound importance in traditional Chinese social, political, intellectual, and cultural life; it is also because of the great prestige it enjoyed in various civilizations on the Chinese periphery—notably Korea, Japan, and Vietnam (and to a lesser extent, Tibet). During the sev­enteenth and eighteenth centuries, Jesuit missionaries in China brought knowledge of the classic back to the West, where it found a number of ardent and influential admirers over the next three hundred years or so, ranging from the mathematician Wilhelm Gotfried von Leibniz to the psychologist Carl Gustav Jung.12 To this day the Changes remains a vital and valued work in many parts of the globe, boasting hundreds of “translations” in a wide variety of Asian and Western languages, as well as many millions of adherents.13 It has also been the inspiration for a great deal of creative activity on the part of Western writers and artists.14

As to the third point, the Yijing as a “sacred scripture” is both intriguingly similar to, and significantly different from, other great “classics” of world literature, such as the Hebrew Torah, the Christian Bible, the Muslim Qu’ran, the Buddhist Heart Sutra, or the Hindu Rig Veda. Yet it has seldom been brought into conver­sation with them.15 This is unfortunate, for despite obvious differ­ences in provenance, language, style, content, and canonical sta­tus, “classic” works such as these can help illuminate and eluci­date one another. They shed light, for example, on a number of shared issues, including the origins, authenticity, and authority of “sacred” texts and questions related to canon formation, commen­tarial traditions, orthodoxy, and “heresy.”16

Before proceeding to the classroom, let me provide a bit of background on the Changes. This is about all, I think, that students will need to know to launch them on their own investigations.


The Yijing began as a primitive fortune-telling manual about three thousand years ago. Based on a series of six-line divinatory sym­bols known as hexagrams, the Changes developed out of the interaction between an unwritten folk tradition involving omens, oracles, proverbs, riddles, and stories, and an elite system of div­ination that included writing and a sophisticated numerology.17 The version of the Changes that eventually became the standard “basic text” in 136 BCE consists of sixty-four hexagrams (gua)— each of which has a name (guaming) that refers to a physical object, an activity, a state, a situation, a quality, an emotion, or a relationship.18 In addition, each hexagram possesses a short initial paragraph, conventionally called a “judgment” (tuan), as well as a brief written statement for each of its six lines. (See, for example, the Gou hexagram [#44] discussed below, as well as the online illustration of the Fu hexagram [#24], available at

The judgment epitomizes the general situation represented by a given hexagram, while the so-called “line statements” (yaoci) describe the development of that particular situation over time (beginning with the bottom line and proceeding upward). The lines, like the constituent “trigrams” of each hexagram, also sym­bolize social, political, or family relationships associated with one or another situation. With each succeeding dynasty, the analysis of hexagrams became ever more complicated, as new variables and new ways of thinking about the relationship between lines, trigrams, hexagrams, and various cosmic forces expanded the range of interpretive possibilities.19

5 horizontal black lines on top of two smaller ones next to each other. above it says 44 and below says GouA fundamental assumption of the Yijing has long been that careful contemplation of any given hexagram or set of hexagrams, whether chosen arbitrarily for study or by one or another divinatory procedure, will provide insight into the past, pre­sent, and future. But the cryptic nature of the basic text resisted straightforward analysis and begged for exegesis. Consider, for instance, hexagram #44, Gou, variously translated as “Encountering,” “Coming to Meet,” “Coupling,” and so forth. A more or less literal translation of the “judgment” might be: “The woman is strong; it would not do to marry such a woman,” The line statements, full of possible loan words and reading from bottom to top, can be rendered tentatively as follows:

1. Tied to a metal brake; the determination is auspicious. It is ominous to go forth. Captives amble like tethered

2. There are fish in the kitchen; there will be no misfortune. It will not be favorable for guests.

3. There is no skin on the buttock(s) and walking is labored. Threatening, but there will be no great misfortune.

4. There are no fish in the kitchen; ominous for rising to

5. A melon is wrapped with a willow; a jade talisman is concealed; something falls from the sky.

6. Locked horns: distress, but no misfortune.20

Virtually every substantive word in both the judgment and the line statements is susceptible to multiple and often quite dif­ferent readings.21 This ambiguity unquestionably contributes to the overall richness and evocativeness of the text, but it also complicates the search for meaning and makes a definitive translation all but impossible.

A text like this, so full of problematic language and obscure imagery, might well strike our students as radically “Other” in Doniger’s sense. But here, perhaps, is a place where we might look for similarities rather than differences. That is, we can remind our students of equally cryptic passages that appear in works far more familiar to them—like the Bible. Take, for instance, almost any set of verses from the Book of Revelation, say, the first six verses of Chapter 13. Like the basic text of the Yijing, the Book of Revelation has generated thousands of pages of exegesis, about which many students will know nothing.22

During the early Han dynasty (206 BCE–220 CE), a set of commentaries known collectively as the Ten Wings—attributed (erroneously) to Confucius—became permanently appended to the “basic text.” As a result the work received imperial approval in 136 BCE as one of the five major “Confucian” classics.23 Had it not been for this development—including the association of the Ten Wings with the Sage himself—we may doubt whether Chi­nese scholars would have given the document so much careful scrutiny and searched so relentlessly for its deeper significance over the next two thousand years.

The Ten Wings—particularly the so-called “Great Commen­tary” (Dazhuan)24—explained much of the trigram and hexagram symbolism of the basic text, articulated the Yijing’s implicit cos­mology, and invested the classic with a new and powerfully attractive literary flavor and style. The world view of this ampli­fied version of the Changes emphasized correlative thinking, a humane cosmological outlook, and a fundamental unity and reso­nance between Heaven, Earth, and Man.25 Another edition of the Changes, buried in a Han dynasty tomb at Mawangdui, Hunan, in 168 BCE and discovered only in 1973, differs from the received text in a number of respects, but its commentaries reflect the same, deeply-rooted cosmological assumptions.26

Amplified by the Ten Wings (which from Han times onward came to be considered an integral part of the text), the Yijing was no longer simply a divination manual; it was now a repository of profound moral and metaphysical truths. And for the next two thousand years, it attracted more scholarly attention in China than any other classical text. This is not to say, however, that the Changes remained a “timeless” document, as some of its transla­tors and commentators have suggested.27 On the contrary, it con­tinued to evolve in the hands of creative interpreters, whose response to the document was a reflection of their own interests and their own political, social, and intellectual environment. Stu­dents must understand that there is no version or translation of the document free from the grip of history and culture, and that every use of the Yijing, whether for “scholarly” or “personal” purposes, reflects the historical period and personal values of the person(s) using it.28

From the third century to the tenth, the commentaries of Wang Bi (226–249) and his latter-day disciple, Han Kangbo (d. 385) dominated exegetical scholarship on the Changes. Their approach to the text was marked by a blend of Confucian, Daoist, and Legalist ideas—an outlook admirably conveyed in Richard John Lynn’s 1994 translation of the Yijing.29

photo of the eight trigrams
The Eight Trigrams organized in the King Wen or “Later Heaven” sequence. From Zhu Xi’s Zhouyi benyi (Basic Meaning of the Zhou Changes). Here, the trigrams appear in a temporal order that depicts developmental change beginning with Zhen (Quake, in the east [to the reader’s left]) and ending with Gen (Restraint, in the northeast). Note that the direction “south” is at the top of this diagram.

The Song dynasty, from 960 to 1279, witnessed many differ­ent scholarly approaches to the Changes, as the works by Alain Arrault, Anne Birdwhistell, Tze-ki Hon, Kidder Smith et al., and others clearly demonstrate.30 From the fourteenth century into the seventeenth, the commentaries of Cheng Yi (1033 –1107) and Zhu Xi (1130–1200) held sway in most intellectual circles, and the Chinese state considered them “orthodox” from the standpoint of the official examination system from 1315 to 1905.31

During the seventeenth and the eighteenth centuries, the cosmological critiques of scholars identified with the school of “evidential learning” (kaozheng xue) exposed the interpretive liberties taken by various Song neo-Confucian commentators.32 But many Chinese scholars continued to follow the lead of Cheng Yi and Zhu Xi, as we can see from On-cho Ng’s excellent study of the “orthodox” yet still innovative official Li Guangdi (1642–1718).33

During the twentieth century and down to the present day, Chinese approaches to the Changes have tended to polarize between individuals who view the work as an outmoded relic from China’s “feudal” past, and those who are inclined to cele­brate it as a great monument to Chinese inventiveness. The spread of the Yijing to other parts of the world, including the West, has involved foreign scholars in these “domestic” debates.34

The important point, of course, is that the Yijing speaks to many different people in many different ways, offering inspiration commensurate with the powers of the intellect. The better the mind, the more potentially valuable the document. This is some­thing our students can discover for themselves—and so, at last, we come to the classroom, where the rubber meets the road.

images showing the relationships between trigrams
Correlations between the Eight Trigrams and family relationships. From Zhu Xi’s Zhouyi benyi (Basic Meaning of the Zhou Changes). Here, the large trigram Kun, on the upper left, symbolizes the mother, and each of its constituent lines is equated with a trigram that corresponds to a daughter (youngest, middle, and oldest). Similarly, the large trigram Qian, on the upper right, is equated with the father, and each of its constituent lines is equated with a trigram that corresponds to a son (youngest, middle, and oldest).


As I have tried to indicate in “Some Ideas for Research” (under “Preliminary Remarks,” preceding the TOB at, the Yijing is ripe with possibilities for interesting student papers, regardless of how broad or narrow one’s course might be. But in this article I emphasize a more “active” engagement with the Changes: name­ly, collaborative learning.35 On the basis of a great deal of experi­ence teaching about the Yijing in a variety of courses—ranging from “Introduction to East Asian Civilizations” to a seminar focused solely on the Changes—I am convinced that for students to understand the document fully, they need to use it, to see for themselves how the book functions as both a mantic text and a book of wisdom. This allows the radical “otherness” of the Yijing to do its stimulating cross-cultural work.

Thus, I always urge an experiential in-class “divination” or “consultation” at some point in a semester or quarter.36 The long history of the Changes and the breadth of its cultural influence in China and abroad make this possible at almost any time in almost any Asia-related course. For preparation, students should read Tze-ki Hon’s excellent article, “Teaching the Book of Changes,” in volume 2, number 2 of Education About Asia, and perhaps Carl Jung’s illuminating preface to the Wilhelm translation (1967) as well.37 For the principles and some actual historical examples of Yijing divination, they can also consult the various works listed in Section II of the TOB, including Chapter 3 of my book, Fortune­tellers and Philosophers (1991), and Chapter 10 of Wei Tat’s An Exposition of the I-Ching (1977).38

Generally speaking, I try to offer my students as many excellent-to-good translations of the Yijing as possible (see my rudimentary evaluations in TOB, Sections III and VIII). Thus, at any given time, the reserve room of the library will have a least a couple dozen renderings of the Changes on one or two-hour “hold”—works that reflect different time periods, different intel­lectual traditions, and different interpretive approaches. I also recommend placing on reserve several reference works (see TOB, Section II), including Nielsen (2003), Wilkinson (2000), Zhang (2002), and Wolfram Eberhard’s A Dictionary of Chinese Symbols (1988), which is not only important for an understand­ing of Chinese culture generally, but which also provides an extremely valuable point of entry into the highly metaphorical world of the Changes.

For the in-class “divination,” I ask students to decide upon a significant question with a moral dimension. An approach that generally works well is to focus on a contemporary problem—say, conflict in the Middle East (a perennial topic)—and ask students to assume they are advisers to one or another leader (the Prime Min­ister of Israel; the U.S. President; the head of the PLO, etc.). The advantage of this “What should we do about . . . ?” approach is that it not only links the question asked to the lives, concerns, and gen­eral knowledge of the students, it also forces them to consider the real-world implications of their advice for all parties. It can even allow for an actual outcome, depending on the question.

Although the context of this exercise does not seem very “Chinese,” the point of it is to learn how the Yijing works, and for this purpose any significant, morally-grounded question will do. Moreover, all kinds of “authentic” interpretive approaches and philosophical perspectives are still possible. Students can offer their advice as Confucians, Daoists, Buddhists, Mohists, or Legal­ists.39 They can work in groups or alone. They can confine their analysis to hexagrams, trigrams, and lines, or they can consider other cosmological variables and even other Yijing-related divina­tory techniques.40 They can be guided by traditional commentaries (Confucian, Daoist, or Buddhist) or rely solely on their own read­ing of the “basic text.”41 Regardless of which approach the stu­dents take, the process causes them to consider concretely how dif­ferent kinds of Chinese thinkers might deal with questions of cos­mology, fate, and human efficacy at a specific historical moment.

In my Traditional Chinese Culture class we approach the matter through a different kind of role-playing: divining on behalf of one or another emperor after learning about the various systems of thought current during the Qing dynasty (1644–1912).42 Jonathan Spence’s Emperor of China (1988) contains several spe­cific examples of Yijing divinations and deliberations involving issues such as military affairs, personnel decisions, and punish­ments—not to mention a great many other personal and adminis­trative matters that might well have involved recourse to the Changes (for instance, the Kangxi emperor’s choice of an heir-apparent). This particular approach requires more course-derived knowledge than a “contemporary affairs” consultation, but it works equally well when the students are prepared. And, of course, they can still draw upon any philosophical position and employ any interpretive approach.43

After choosing a question, we perform Zhu Xi’s widely employed divination ritual44 in class as a prelude to deriving the hexagram, which, in the interest of time, generally involves the simple coin-toss method rather than the more elaborate milfoil method (both are described in most translations of the Changes, including Wilhelm [1967] and Lynn [1994]). I then ask students to interpret the hexagram using various strategies described in most translations of, and many works about, the Yi.45

Generally speaking, it is best to let students work on their interpretations outside of class and then bring them to the next session for a group discussion (as if they were Grand Councillors or Court Lecturers advising the emperor). This way they will have time to investigate library resources and to give some thought to (A) the kind of person they want to be (ideally taking into account variables of age, region, social class, gender, philosophical/reli­gious outlook, etc.), (B) the approach they want to take (i.e., the particular interpretive technique[s] they want to employ), and (C) the conclusions they want to draw. When the class is small, I assign “perspectives” to assure the broadest possible representa­tion of views. At times, I play the role of an “authority figure” (emperor, prime minister, president, etc.) to whom the students offer their “advice.” My questions and comments are designed initially to open the discussion as widely as possible, and then to urge the students to seek some sort of common ground.

Requiring students to keep a weekly “response” journal is another way of encouraging direct engagement with the Changes. In my Traditional Chinese Culture course and in my Yijing semi­nar, I have the luxury of spending a great deal of time on the clas­sic,46 and can therefore require the students to say something about the work every week in their journals during all or most of the semester. I put the matter this way in one of my recent assign­ment sheets:

At least three pages of each weekly journal entry must be devoted to the Yijing. You may use the document in any way that it might have been used by a scholar in pre-mod­ern times. For example, you may “divine” about a matter involving yourself or someone else (real or fictive). You may “contemplate” a hexagram (or hexagrams), seeking spiritual or philosophical insight from an analysis of its judgment(s), lines, and/or trigram relationships. You may use any (or all) of the above-mentioned elements of a hexagram—or perhaps a passage from one or more of the Ten Wings or another commentary—as the point of depar­ture for a short but thoughtful essay; for instance, (1) a cri­tique of a person, place, or thing, (2) a meditation on art, literature, music, or ritual (Chinese or Western), (3) a letter of advice to a friend or relative (real or fictive, Western or Chinese), (4) an analysis of some aspect of the physical world (i.e., a “scientific” document), etc. You may also use the Changes as the inspiration for your own literary or artistic creation—for instance, an annotated poem or paint­ing. In all these activitities you must approach the Yijing as a document with as much “authority” as, say, the sacred scriptures of Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Chris­tianity, and other belief systems.


In my experience, the most difficult task—and also the most rewarding one—in teaching about Asia is to get students to take the subject matter seriously, to encourage them to make the course material their own, and to see how it relates to their per­sonal lives: their assumptions, expectations, hopes, fears, doubts, and certainties. When they do this—and we all have to believe that it is, in fact, possible—the rewards are great for everyone. At first glance the Changes may not seem well suited to such a task because of its radical “otherness.” In my view, however, few documents do the job better—few speak to such a wide range of philosophical and practical questions, few open up as much space for creative interpretation and informed speculation, and few are so productively unsettling. Moreover, the Yijing has something to offer almost any class that deals with “great texts” and grand ideas, whether the primary focus is on China, Asia, or some other part of the world. The first step is simply to take it in hand and use it. Perhaps our mantra should be the ancient Chinese proverb: Baiwen buru yijian: “Hearing about something a hundred times is not as good as seeing it once.”


In the notes below, TOB refers to the word-searchable “Topically Orga­nized Bibliography” at smith.htm#one.

1. I have discussed a few ways to do this in R. J. Smith (2001), 8–10. For the full reference, see TOB, Section IX. By “ways of worldmaking” I mean the social construction of reality—how groups of people (“cultures”) arrange things, ideas, and activities into coherent systems of meaning.

2. Geertz (1986), 113. TOB, Section IX.

3. See R. J. Smith (1986), 113–126 and (1987), 6–11. TOB, Section IX.

4. Doniger (1998), 34. TOB, Section IX.

5. Charles Hucker, China’s Imperial Past (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1975). 72.

6. This “personal” thrust is the emphasis of the excellent article on classroom uses of the Yijing by Hon Tze-ki (1997). TOB, Section III.

7. See the “Preliminary Remarks” section of the TOB.

8. On these two works, see TOB, Section II.

9. See note 7 above.

10. Cited in R. J. Smith (1994), 120. TOB, Section IX. Cf. the similarly apprecia­tive remarks of Huang Zongxi and others cited in ibid., 126, and in Henderson (1991), 102–103, 141–142, and 204–205, etc. TOB, Section IX.

11. For some suggestions regarding student papers on these topics, see “The Cul­tural Significance of the Yijing in China” under “Some Ideas for Research” in the “Preliminary Remarks” section of the TOB.

12. See the subsection titled “Issues Related to Textual Transmission and Transla­tion” under “Some Ideas for Research” in the “Preliminary Remarks” section of the TOB.

13. For instance, the 2002 bibliography by Hacker et al., TOB, Section I, lists about 500 Yijing-related books and dissertations—and roughly the same num­ber of articles—in English alone. The Yijing has been translated into more than forty languages worldwide.

14. See the subsection titled “Issues Related to Textual Transmission and Transla­tion” under the “Preliminary Remarks” section of the TOB.

15. I have tried to suggest a few such comparisons in R. J. Smith (1991, 1998, 2002). See TOB, Section III; also the subsection titled “Comparative Issues” under the “Preliminary Remarks” section of the online bibliography, and especially the works noted in TOB, Section VII.

16. An especially useful introduction to these and other issues can be found in Henderson (1991, 1998). TOB, Section IX.

17. For information on the early evolution of Changes, from about the eighth to the third centuries BCE, see TOB, Section III.A, as well as the entries under Shaughnessy and Cook in TOB, Section III.B.

18. See the “Sixty-Four Hexagrams,” online document at http:// www. org/eaa/smith3.pdf.

19. For a basic overview, consult R. J. Smith (1991, 1998) in TOB, Section III. For details, note the many elaborate interpretive systems discussed by name under separate alphabetical headings in Nielsen (2003). TOB, Section II.

20. This translation is based on Kunst (1985), 326–327. TOB, Section III.

21. See Smith (1991), 96–97. For different renderings and understandings of this text, consult Rutt (1996), 267 and 336–337, Fu (1995), 95–97, Wu (1991), 163–165, Shaugnessy (1996), 53–54, 291–292, Lynn (1994), 410–416, Ritse­ma and Karcher (1994), 483–491, Whincup (1986), 149–150, Legge (1969), Wilhelm (1963), 170–173, Cleary (1986), 169–172, Cleary (1987), 170–173, Huang (1998), 353–359, Ni (2002), 472–479, etc., all listed in TOB, Section III or VIII.

21. For an easily accessible online example, see­htm; accessed Nov. 29, 2002.

22. Note Michael Nylan’s work on the “Confucian” canon in TOB, Section II. Kidder Smith (2003), 129–156. TOB, Section IX.

24. On the “Great Commentary,” see Peterson (1987), Snyder (2001), Swanson (1974), and Karcher (2000) in TOB, Section IV.B.

25. On correlative thinking, see Graham (1986). TOB, Section IX.

26. See the works by Shaughnessy (1996) and Wang Dongliang in TOB, Section B. For a discussion of traditional Chinese cosmology, and an analysis of the various critiques leveled against it in the seventeenth and eighteenth cen­turies, see John Henderson’s The Development and Decline of Chinese Cos­mology. TOB, Section IV.C.; cf. Smith (1991), 70 ff., which offers a critique of Henderson. TOB, Section III.

27. See, for example, the translations by Wilhelm (1967) and Ritsema and Karcher (1994). TOB, Section III.

28. For examples of this viewpoint, see in particular the writings of scholars such as Hon, Julien, Kim, Kunst, Lynn, Nylan, Rutt, Shaughnessy, Shchutskii, Kidder Smith, Richard Smith, and Wang Dongliang, in TOB, Section III.

29. See TOB, Section IV.B.

30. Again, see TOB, Section IV.B.

31. Their neo-Confucian views are reflected in the influential renderings of the Changes by Legge (1963) and Wilhelm (1967), as well as in the translation by Joseph Adler (2002) of Zhu Xi’s famous Yixue qimeng (Introduction to the Study of the Classic of Changes). TOB, Section III.

32. See Henderson in TOB, Section IV.C; also the works by Black and Julien in the same section.

33. See TOB, Section IV.C.

34. A number of Chinese and Westerners have argued, for example, that the Changes is a “universal” scientific document—one that presaged computer programs, the eight-tier matrix in linear algebra, and DNA coding. For an overview, see R. J. Smith (1998), 406 in TOB, Section III; also “The Cultural Significance of the Yijing in China” under “Some Ideas for Research” in the “Preliminary Remarks” section of the TOB.

35. On the virtues of collaborative learning, see R. J. Smith (2001), 18 ff. in TOB, Section IX.

36. I make this distinction because some students are uncomfortable with the idea of participating in a “divination.” For them I emphasize that the Yijing can be “consulted” like a Rorschach test, for psychological insight rather than spiritual inspiration, and that this has always been one important use of the document.

37. For an online version of Jung’s preface, see htm. Schoenbohm (2003) employs an interesting version of Jung’s approach, and Karcher (1999) provides an illuminating critique. TOB, Section VII.

38. I also encourage the students to explore websites on the Yijing, beginning with Greg Whincup’s “The I Ching on the Net.” TOB, Section X.

39. For Buddhist and Daoist-influenced renderings of the Changes, see Cleary (1986, 1987, 1989) and Govinda (1981). TOB, Section III.

40. For instance, they can consult Yang Xiong’s Taixuan jing [aka T’ai-hsuan ching], ably translated by Michael Nylan (1994). TOB, Section IV.B.

41. For various strategies, see “Interpreting the Changes” under “Some Ideas for Research” in the “Preliminary Remarks” section of the online bibliography. Note also that virtually all works listed in TOB, Section III, provide interpre­tive guidance.

42. For an overview of Qing philosophy and religion, consult Smith, China’s Cul­tural Heritage (1994), Chapters 6 and 7 in TOB, Section IX. See also the works by Black (1989), Chung-ying Cheng (1991). Elman (1984, 1990, 2000), Henderson (1984, 1991, 1998), Jullien (1993), On-cho Ng (2001), Smith (1991, esp. chapter 2), etc., in the same section or section III.

43. See notes 19 and 41 above.

44. For a description, see 109–110 of R. J. Smith (1991). TOB, Section III.

45. See notes 19 and 41 above; also ibid., 94–119.

46. In these classes I assign Lynn’s (1994) translation of the Changes. TOB, Sec­tion III.