Elizabeth Childs-Johnson,The Meaning of the Graph Yi異 and Its Implications for Shang Belief and Art, Saffron Books [EAP London], London, 2008.
In this monograph, in a departure from previous analyses, Elizabeth Childs-Johnson uses a combination of written and graphic data to identify the meaning of the so-called taotie mask and the basis of Shang religion. By utilising paleographic and representational evidence Childs-Johnson puts into perspective for the first time that Shang belief was not limited to the worship of royal dead ancestor spirits. She analyses the meaning of several pivotal oracle bone graphs, in particular yi, illustrating that Shang belief was founded on the concept of spirit metamorphosis. She identifies yi as meaning ‘to undergo metamorphosis of/by a spirit.’ This fundamental belief in metamorphosis, and the power associated with it, also underlies the meaning behind Shang ritual representations, which has been extensively examined in several previous studies. The significance of these analyses is monumental in explaining that early Chinese belief embraces more than the worship of dead ancestor spirits, that the setting for the birth of Chinese civilisation is more complex in incorporating the basic belief in the power to take on the power of another in the spirit realm. Students and China watchers of all levels will benefit from reading this study, not only because it answers many questions about traditional Chinese belief but enriches our understanding of the earliest dynastic period and its art in China.
（美）江伊莉：異字的内涵及其对商代宗教和艺术的启示，Saffron Books, 伦敦，2008年第一版，96页。