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Reclusion And Participation

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Chapter Summary

It was at Little Mount Kun that Chen Jiru's invention of a public persona of himself as a recluse began. There were three factors operating on Chen's adopted form of reclusion. The first factor was the many traditional forms of reclusion that Chen could choose to adopt, the second was the aggressive attitude against the practice taken by the dynastic founder, and the third was the new social and economic relations, burgeoning in Jiangnan in the late sixteenth century, and the corresponding changes in Neo-Confucian philosophy. However, the author mentions some of the predecessors to and patterns of traditional forms of reclusion Chen referenced, as they are vital to appreciating the latter two reasons. He shows that Chen's interaction with Buddhism also involved spending time in temples. Chen adoption of reclusion was never a barrier to engagement with his local community.

Keywords: Buddhism; Chen Jiru; Chen's reclusion; local participation; Neo-Confucian philosophy



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