Panel abstract: This panel brings together three papers on practices and beliefs related to the ancient Chinese principles of fengshui (geomancy) in the contemporary world. Firmly grounded in the historical roots and development of fengshui thought and practice, each of the three presenters approaches the contemporary relevance of this set of beliefs from a different angle. In "Foreign Beliefs in ‘Native’ Settings: Fengshui Elements in Shinto Shrines", Dr. Ellen Van Goethem investigates when and how elements of fengshui came to be incorporated into the core of other belief systems by focusing on a famous shrine in Kyushu, thereby demonstrating how pervasive the influence of fengshui has been on Shinto, the "indigenous" religion of Japan. Dr. Michael Paton's paper, "Cities and Modernity: A Fengshui Perspective", investigates how fengshui has spread beyond its original geographical borders and shows that its principles may also be detected in cities with seemingly no connection to the original practice. Finally, Dr. Sueyling Tsai discusses how fengshui itself incorporated elements from other belief systems over the centuries. In "From Pagoda to a Household: Fengshui Hanging Bells Engraved with Buddhist Texts", she investigates the presence of bronze bells inscribed with Buddhist texts as an essential attribute in creating the ideal fengshui home.
Other speakers Dr. Michael Paton, University of Sydney: “Cities and Modernity: A Fengshui Perspective” Dr. Sueyling Tsai, Heidelberger Academy of Sciences and Humanities: “From Pagoda to a Household: Fengshui Hanging Bells Engraved with Buddhist Texts”