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Male Friendship And Jiangxue (Philosophical Debates) In Sixteenth-Century China

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the significant rise of the status of friendship in sixteenth-century Chinese cultural discourses and the relevant roles played by the jiangxue (philosophical debating) activities on the part of many members of the popular neo-Confucian movement of the School of the Mind. It is a preliminary attempt to examine some of the factors that might have contributed to the rise of this cult and their impact on the theories and practices of friendship in late imperial China. Here it might be fitting to conclude the chapter with a closer look at Gu's personal life to explore the possible reasons for his rather daring attempts to "push the envelope" on the issue of friendship during a time when the jiangxue movement was already beginning to lose its momentum.

Keywords: male friendship; neo-Confucian movement; sixteenth-century china



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