Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The influence of Fengshui on the building of the City of Beijing in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644)
Author: Liu, Li
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1998
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Please try the link below.
Access from Institution:
This thesis presents a study aiming to resolve the dispute over the role of fengshui in the building of the capital city Beijing. It argues that the complexity and diversity of the various elements that went into the formation of concepts concerning siting and building encouraged the use of fengshui ideas as part of retrospective interpretations of the capital city at the urban planning level. However, the inferior position accorded fengshui in orthodox cultural contexts prevented fengshui's being incorporated in the official governmental ideology of creating imperial capitals. This study begins with a description of the historic and cultural background against the Beijing was built. It demonstrates that the ideology employed in the building of imperial capitals on the one hand, and fengshui on the other hand were each associated with entirely different socio-cultural contexts. Fengshui was more a body of loosely related ideas than a coherent theoretical system. Although the same cosmological symbols were used in both codes, whereas the orthodox ideology was held by the elite to be most important for legitimising the capital as a cosmic centre, fengshui was viewed by the elite with ambivalence, indeed sometimes fierce criticism, partly because of the heterodox nature of fengshui in challenging the Confucian concept of Heavenly Will. An inquiry into the specific circumstances of the capital city Beijing at the time when it was being built suggests that fengshui theory was not consciously taken into account in the choice of the city's site. Owing to the unique significance of the city as a capital, fengshui practitioners are not likely to have been employed in the city's siting, even though they were employed in the siting of imperial tombs. However, many factors caused fengshui ideas to be incorporated in the non-governmental interpretations of the siting of Beijing.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available