The compass and the ruler: Theory and practice in Taiwanese geomancy

April Huei-Min Lu, University of Pennsylvania


This dissertation, from an anthropological approach, concerns the issue of theory and practice in Taiwanese geomancy through an analysis of its manuscripts and instruments--the compass and the ruler--to explore, on a larger scale, the interrelationship between theory, practice, and instrument. Chapter One introduces the purpose, methodology, and summary of this research, along with some background information on the village and geomancer on which this dissertation focuses. Chapter Two explores the idea of the metaphor residing in geomancy and examines the manuscripts of the geomancer. Chapter Three looks at the geomantic instruments--the ruler and the compass--and their mantic theories and methods. Chapter Four discusses the geomantic practice--on the house and tomb--with the social interactions in a village in southern Taiwan. This dissertation concludes by proposing an alternative thinking beyond rationality in architectural theory and practice through the study of Taiwanese geomancy.

Subject Area

Architecture|Cultural anthropology|Landscaping

Recommended Citation

Lu, April Huei-Min, "The compass and the ruler: Theory and practice in Taiwanese geomancy" (1997). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI9727256.