Lecture series: Fate, freedom and prognostication – strategies for coping with the future in East Asia and Europe

In western society today, oracles are a thing of the past and most believe that we cannot predict the future. In Asia, by contrast, a tradition of techniques and prognostication for predicting and steering the future still exists. The International Consortium for Research in the Humanities ‘Fate, Freedom and Prognostication. Strategies for Coping with the Future in East Asia and Europe’ (IKGF) at FAU is hosting a lecture series in which academics from all over the world will present their research projects on traditions of prognostication in the Europe of Antiquity and in Asia.

The lectures are open to the public and will be held in English. Information about IKGF and the lecture series is also available at

Lecture dates:

Time: Tuesdays at 6.15 p.m. Place: International Consortium for Research in the Humanities, seminar room in building D1, Hartmannstr. 14, Erlangen

  • 13 October: Prof. Dr. Esther-Maria Guggenmos (Professor of Chinese Studies, FAU): Did the Most Common Practice in Chinese Popular Religion Originate in China? – Tracing the (Buddhist?) Temple Oracle Across Asia
  • 20 October: Rolf Scheuermann (Tibetan Studies, IKGF Research Coordinator, FAU): Karma Tuning – Tibetan Buddhist Strategies for Coping with the Future
  • 3 November: Prof. Dr. Monika Gänßbauer (Chinese Studies, FAU; IKGF Visiting Fellow): ‘Popular Belief in Contemporary China’ – Findings from an Academic Chinese-Language Discourse
  • 10 November: Prof. Dr. Fabian Schäfer (Professor of Japanese Studies, FAU; IKGF Visiting Fellow): From Cybernetics to Big Data – Science-Fictional and Socio-Philosophical Imaginations of a Predictable Future in Japan
  • 17 November: PD Dr. Brandon Dotson (Tibetan Studies, Research Group ‘Kingship and Religion in Tibet’, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München; IKGF Visiting Fellow): Chance and Fortune in Old Tibetan Dice Divination and the Hunt
  • 24 November: Dr. Andreas Holndonner (Medieval History, FAU; IKGF Visiting Fellow): Between Fate, Providentia Dei, and the Free Will – Investigations in Medieval Canon Law on the Basis of Selected Examples: The Collectio Hibernensis (8th c.)
  • 8 December: Prof. Dr. Stephan Heilen (Professor of Classical Philology, Osnabrück University; IKGF Visiting Fellow): Extant Greco-Latin Horoscopes – Their Contexts and Uses
  • 15 December: PD Dr. Thomas Meyer (Philosophy, Theory of Science, and the Study of Religions, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München; IKGF Visiting Fellow): ‘Momentarily I Am Studying Medieval Theories of Providence.’ – Leo Strauss on Fate, Freedom, and Prognosis
  • 12 January 2016: Prof. Dr. Joachim Kurtz (Professor of Intellectual History, Cluster of Excellence ‘Asia and Europe in a Global Context’, Heidelberg University): Sociology as Divination – Predicting Patterns of Human Association in Late Qing China
  • 19 January 2016: PD Dr. Ulrike Ehmig (Archaeology and Ancient History, SFB 933 Material Text Cultures, Heidelberg University): Rationale Zukunftsgestaltung in der römischen Antike [lecture in German]
  • 26 January 2016: Prof. Dr. Klaus Herbers (Professor of Medieval History and Auxiliary Historical Sciences, IKGF Deputy Director, FAU): A Handbook of Prognostication in the Middle Ages – Concepts and Approaches
  • 2 February 2016: Prof. Dr. Michael Lackner (Professor of Chinese Studies, IKGF Director, FAU): Scholar Meets Expert – The Traditional Chinese Elite’s Assessment of Mantic Practices

Further information:

Rolf Scheuermann
Phone: +49 9131 8564337

Addition information