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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
7


on September 23, 2014
There are many translations of the I Ching that provide the traditional, medieval account (don't pay for one; you can get James Legge's good translation for free). There are also dozens of translations that attempt amateur psychoanalysis. There are even a few that translate a higher level of traditional commentary. But this translation is the ONLY one in existence that actually explains the original meaning of the I Ching according to real historical and archaeological evidence. It summarizes decades of research that otherwise can only be found in obscure Sinological journals. Absolutely worth owning.
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on January 30, 2000
I have read many books on I Ching but this is the best byfar. It is the only one which made its history as a text clear tome. The so called Zhouyi is the portion set in writing during the Zhou(later Chinese bronze age). Most of what we consider I Ching is actually commentary from the Han, half a milennium later. Rutt restores the early primitive text which was used for such things as deciding the auspicious occasion for (human?) sacrifices. Rutt sees the Zhou Yi as neither moral or spiritual. We can then see how the Confucian tradition made something quite different of the text with the addition of the Ten Wings. Rutt translates the original Zhou text which consists of what are the hexagram statements and line texts in later forms.He also translates the Ten Wings separately, rather than mixed with the Zhou text as Wilhelm and later Chinese editions do. Rutt's book is the best on the actual, as opposed to mythical text of the Changes. Yet he includes its history in the west and a section entitled, the Fascination of Zhouyi. If you have a serious interest in I Ching, you MUST read this book. It does not supercede the classic Wilhelm/Baynes translation but does far better in letting us see it also as an ancient Chinese text.
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on February 23, 2003
There is everything here about the history of the I Ching. Richard Rutt has used among others the studies by Kunst on the oldest meaning of the book (that was lost to the later Confucian commentators of the Ten Wings) to attempt a translation that comes as close as possible to the original meaning. . This brings Bronze Age China back to life, a civilization that even performed human sacrifices (quite shocking!) A must for all serious I Ching lovers.
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on November 15, 2003
This book is one of the best books currently on the market concerning the study of the I Ching. The book gives an in-depth review of the I Ching's evolution and history. It also gives a very enlightening review of many of the current I Ching translations on the market.
This book is for the more serious student of the I Ching. It is not very useful for individual divination using the I Ching. There are other books that are more useful for divination.
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on March 11, 2006
I have investigated a large number of English translations of the I Ching and this is the only one I know of that provides serious historical background, including the latest archaeological data and the Mawangdui bamboo strip texts, and a critical approach. In addition to the history of the book there are histories and descriptions of various forms of divination that are presented in a scientific/anthropological fashion, as well as a history of the reception of the book in the West. I was a little alarmed by the rhyming translations of the actual text at first (they can sound rather trite in comparison with Wilhelm/Baynes), but good justifications are given to show that this is the form the original took and that it is similar to the style of the Book of Odes.

For readers with critical intelligence and a sense of history, this is the only English edition of the I Ching that can be taken seriously.
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on July 31, 2017
I cannot for the life of me trust this translation or the so-called history....Reason? It was done be a Catholic Priest. How could this translator/author possibly give an un-biased translation when the doctrines of his chosen faith strictly, and with great prejudice forbids divination and the type of philosophy taught in this text? He obviously doesn't believe in the text he is translating. OK granted you could say he translated the text transliterally, but that would be quite difficult, if not impossible as there is no one alive that knows and understand the ancient Chinese it was written in. The Chinese of those times was very metaphorical from my understanding. Even native Chinese speakers have a great difficulty translating it and can only do so because they have a philosophical foundation in the metaphorical nature of the language at that time. Master Huang states this many times in his translation of the I Ching. He came to that understanding by studying under a Taoist master for many years. Master Huang is also a believer in the text. If Mr. Rutt believes in the text then he is a hypocrite to his faith thus solidifying my distrust of this translation.
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on August 16, 1999
There is everything here about the history of the I Ching. Richard Rutt has used among others the studies by Kunst on the oldest meaning of the book (that was lost to the later Confucian commentators of the Ten Wings) to attempt a translation that comes as close as possible to the original meaning. . This brings Bronze Age China back to life, a civilization that even performed human sacrifices. A must for all serious I Ching lovers.
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