系列演講概述 | About this series talk
系列演講 : 《封神演義》的跨領域性與明清華人通俗文化
Series Talk: The Interdisciplinary Nature of Investiture of the Gods and the Popular Culture of Late Imperial China
Investiture of the Gods is the literary expression of Ming dynasty folk beliefs. Its paratext marks it as a historical novel and its narrative blends history and religion as well as the three teachings of Confucianism, Buddhism and Daoism. Such an “interdisciplinary” character was not exception in late imperial Chinese culture, which was not bound by modern academic disciplines. To study the manifold cultural products, experiences and receptions of the Chinese people, we should therefore choose interdisciplinary research methods. Among the “Novels About Gods and Demons” of late imperial China, Investiture of the Gods is second only to Journey to the West; because it describes a rather complete pantheon, its influence on popular beliefs might have been even greater. As a result, it is perfectly suited to be the focus of an analysis of the interplay of all aspects of late imperial culture and to explore the reactions of contemporary Chinese people to popular culture.
The author and time of writing of Investiture of the Gods are unknown, but according to current research it was first published in the 1620s. It describes chancellor Jiang Ziya helping King Wu of the Zhou dynasty in his campaign against King Zhou of the Shang dynasty. A great number of future deities take part in the campaign. In the end of the novel they are invested to divine positions in an investiture ceremony just as King Wu formally establishes the Zhou dynasty.