Neo-Confucianism and Universalism

Dialogue and Universalism 8 (11):169-183 (1998)
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Abstract

I explore the features of universalist thinking in the work of Zhu X i, examining the following: the importance of li in Zhu Xi's cosmology and ethics; the course of moral development of a Confucian sage and the spheres of expanding identity and responsibility; the ideal of impartiality in achieving a composure of unity with the world; and the ideal of differentiated love as an expression of living in accord with li and xing. I conclude with some critical observations regarding these major features of Zhu Xi's universalism, noting some hazards of such cross-cultural analysis, and acknowledging general problems facing the non-pluralistic perspective of his work.

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