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Full Access Male Friendship and Jiangxue (Philosophical Debates) in Sixteenth-Century China

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Male Friendship and Jiangxue (Philosophical Debates) in Sixteenth-Century China

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This article 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 seeks to demonstrate how the practices of jiangxue helped construct a special cultural and social sphere where male friendships could flourish with great freedom and where friendship was granted the kind of Confucian legitimacy it had never enjoyed before. The article also explores the resultant tensions within the important Confucian ethical concept of wulun (the five cardinal human relationships) as it was being contested and re/negotiated during that time.

Affiliations: 1: University of California, Irvine


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