Generic filters

Talismans and Para-religious Practices in Chinese Dunhuang Manuscripts

Conference by Christine Mollier, CNRS/CRCAO, at 6 PM in the auditorium of Musée Cernuschi.

A favorite ritual tool in China, talismans (fu) have been handed down in large numbers in medieval Dunhuang manuscripts. Supposed to heal, exorcise or protect individuals or communities, they are notably omnipresent in divinatory treatises, almanacs and scientific manuals relating to medicine or hemerology which have been produced locally, often in an official setting. The examination of some of the most significant specimens will allow us to discover their typology and their functions and to shed light on their religious anchoring as well as the different socio-professional circles that advocated them. We will also see how some of these talismanic traditions were practiced by the civilian or military elites of Dunhuang.