Humanities and Social Sciences
University of California, Santa Barbara, Isla Vista, CA 93117
Stephen R. Bokenkamp
(Arizona State University)
In attempting to understand the Declarations of the Perfected (Zhen’gao), a fourth-century Chinese collection of transcripts from a Daoist medium who channeled the gods, we confront not only the normal problems of translating intimate family documents from an unfamiliar culture and distant time, but added complexities brought on by the fact that the materials that formed the basis for this text were revealed in a divine language unintelligible to mortals.