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Hong Kong Baptist University Library Hong Kong Baptist University
 

Exhibitions Online: The Divine Plan at Work 靈龜告猶

Inspire your intellectual curiosity

Exhibition

Au Shue Hung Memorial Library

Date:

13 Sep - 20 Oct, 2019

Opening Hours:

Weekdays ( 8:30 am - 10:30 pm )

Saturdays ( 9:00 am - 8:30 pm )

Sundays ( 1:00 pm - 6:30 pm )

Public Holidays ( Closed )

The Divine Plan at Work (Selected Works on Oracle Bone Studies) 靈龜告猶 (甲骨學書籍精選)

2019 marks the 120th anniversary of the discovery of inscribed oracle bones and the 60th anniversary of the publication of Professor Jao Tsung-i’s monumental work Oracle Bone Diviners of the Yin Dynasty (Yindai zhenbu renwu tongkao. Hong Kong University Press, 1959). To commemorate these two very special occasions in the field of early China studies, HKBU Jao Tsung-I Academy of Sinology collaborates with the National Museum of Chinese Writing, Anyang, Henan Province, P.R.C., Hong Kong Baptist University Library and Jao Tsung-I Petite Ecole of The University of Hong Kong and organizes the fifth instalment in the Academy’s “Scholarship and Culture” series: “The Divine Plan at Work: The 120th Anniversary of the Discovery of Oracle Bone Inscriptions” cum “60th Anniversary of the Publication of Oracle Bone Diviners of the Yin Dynasty by Professor Jao Tsung-i” special exhibition.

As the first research institute specialized in Sinology and Classical Chinese Studies in Hong Kong, HKBU Jao Tsung-I Academy of Sinology is deeply honored to have the great Sinologist Professor Jao Tsung-i as its Honorary Permanent Director. In the continuation of the dual pursuit of scholarship and art that Master Jao famously exemplified, the Academy has organized the “Scholarship and Culture” series of exhibitions and art-related activities ever since 2015. This year we partner with the National Museum of Chinese Writing, the only national museum dedicated to the Chinese writing system. This is the first time the touring exhibition “Chinese Characters” will be held in Hong Kong. It is no coincidence that the Museum is based in Anyang, the last capital of the Shang dynasty and the hometown of oracle bone inscriptions. Our other collaborators include Hong Kong Baptist University Library, which is known for its rich collection, and the Jao Tsung-I Petite Ecole of The University of Hong Kong, a sister institution devoted to Jao Studies and related disciplines. Through this collaborative effort the organizers hope to bring knowledge of oracle bones to the public and promote Jao Studies to a wider audience.

2019年適逢甲骨文發現120周年,亦正值饒宗頤教授之甲骨學研究巨著《殷代貞卜人物通考》(香港大學出版社,1959年)出版60周年。香港浸會大學饒宗頤國學院特別聯同中國文字博物館、香港浸會大學圖書館及香港大學饒宗頤學術館,於今年9月至11月共同主辦第五屆志道游藝「靈龜告猶」紀念甲骨文發現120周年展暨饒宗頤教授《殷代貞卜人物通考》出版60周年特展。

香港浸會大學饒宗頤國學院是香港第一所國學院,有幸邀得國學大師饒宗頤教授擔任永遠榮譽院長,秉承饒公「學藝雙攜」的精神,自2015年起每年舉辦「志道游藝」系列活動。中國文字博物館位於甲骨文的故鄉——河南省安陽市,是我國唯一一座以文字為主題的國家級博物館,將為香港首次引入該館久負盛名的《漢字》專題展。香港浸會大學圖書館藏書豐富,香港大學饒宗頤學術館致力於饒學研究與相關學術研究,亦全力合辦此次紀念性展覽,共同宣揚甲骨文研究,擴大饒學的影響力。

“The Divine Plan at Work” is inspired by the line “Our tortoises are wearied out, and will not tell us anything about the plans” in the Shi jing (#195) poem “Xiao min” (Foreboding).  The idea is that mortals might get a glimpse of the “Divine Plan” that deities have devised for mankind through turtle shell divination or “plastromancy.” Pyromantic practice has Neolithic origins and since the Shang dynasty (1600-1045 BC) involved burning holes into turtle shells and animal bones and reading the resulting cracks to determine the divine will on a particular enquiry, and then recording divination accounts onto the same shells and bones used to make the divination. The accounts often included whether or not the proposition was favorable and fit to be used. These texts are known as jiaguwen or “oracle bone inscriptions” and the writing system in use at that time is called oracle bone script. It is generally considered to be China’s first writing.

「靈龜告猶」脫胎自《詩經.小雅.小旻》「我龜既厭,不我告猶」,意即上天藉靈龜予人禍福吉凶的啟示。《詩經》所記載的龜卜,便是來自殷商時期的歷史記憶。我們所知道的「商代」,有別於人文理性發揚的周代。《詩經.商頌.玄鳥》:「天命玄鳥,降而生商。宅殷土茫茫。古帝命武湯,正域彼四方。」商代自起始,即籠罩著玄異的色彩,隨之而來,便產生了充斥著神靈巫鬼的世界觀。

商人相信,神靈先祖能藉由灼燒龜甲與牛骨所產生裂痕來預示吉凶,在貞卜人員占卜之後,在灼剝的裂痕旁,以文字紀錄下卜問事件的內容及結果,這便是「甲骨文」。甲骨文的出現,不僅是現今漢字的最早型態,也承載著商民族的生活點滴,更為華夏民族所共有的質樸記憶。

 

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