A reconsideration of Zhu Xi, known as the “great synthesizer” of Confucianism, which establishes him as an important thinker in his own right.
Zhu Xi (1130–1200), the chief architect of neo-Confucian thought, affected a momentous transformation in Chinese philosophy. His ideas came to dominate Chinese intellectual life, including the educational and civil service systems, for centuries. Despite his influence, Zhu Xi is known as the "great synthesizer" and rarely appreciated as a thinker in his own right. This volume presents Zhu Xi as a major world philosopher, one who brings metaphysics and cosmology into attunement with ethical and social practice. Contributors from the English- and Chinese-speaking worlds explore Zhu Xi's unique thought and offer it to the Western philosophical imagination. Zhu Xi's vision is critical, intellectually rigorous, and religious, telling us how to live in the transforming world of li—the emergent, immanent, and coherent patternings of natural and human milieu.
David Jones is Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences, National Taiwan University and Professor of Philosophy at Kennesaw State University. His many books include Asian Texts — Asian Contexts: Encounters with Asian Philosophies and Religions (coedited with E. R. Klein), also published by SUNY Press. Jinli He is Assistant Professor of Chinese at Trinity University.