Li Ao: Buddhist, Taoist, Or Neo-Confucian?
Neo-Confucianism, the state sponsored orthodoxy of China's later empires, is now recognized as an important key to understanding China. This study looks at the roots of Neo-Confucianism in an age when Buddhism and Taoism had eclipsed the Confucian tradition in importance. Li Ao (c. 772-836 A.D.), though generally acknowledged as a forerunner of Neo-Confucianism, is still regarded as deeply influenced by Buddhism. The historical reasons for the creation of this image of Li Ao are examined, prior to a close investigation of the actual circumstances which shaped his Fu-hsing shu, 'Book of Returning to One's True Nature,' the essay which had the deepest influence on the development of early Neo-Confucianism. Although common assumptions about Buddhist influence on Li Ao are questioned, the true importance of the essay emerges in the typically Chinese patterns of thought which it exhibits and which gave it an impact transcending the immediate circumstances that prompted its writing. Li Ao is an important contribution for academics and students interested in East Asian history and thought and religious studies, especially Buddhist studies.
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THE FUHSING SHU OF LI
A HISTORICAL APPROACH
AOS DATE OF BIRTH AND THE DATE OF THE FU
achieved already Ao's brightness Buddhist Ch'an Buddhism Ch'an masters Ch'eng-kuan Ch'u Chan-jan Chang Tsai Chih-i chin-shih China Chinese Ching Ching-te ch'uan-teng lu Chou Chou-i chu-shu Chu Hsi chuan Chuang-tzu Chung-yung classics comp Confucian Confucius contemporaries context CTSh disciple doctrine dynasty earlier early eighth century emotions essay Fu-hsing shu Han Yii Han Yu Han-shan Han's HCLC Heaven and Earth Hua-yen ideas inscription intellectual Lang-chou language Lao-tzu later Legge Li Ao Li Heng Li's Liang Su's Lo-yang Lu Ts'an Lun-yu LWKC meaning Mencius Meng Chiao mention mind Mo-ho chih-kuan monk Neo-Confucianism Ou-yang passage patriarchs Peking perhaps pi-chieh piece Pien-chou poem probably question quotation reading reference sage sagehood seems self-cultivation Shih sincerity sources SPTK Ssu-chou suggest Sung surviving Taoist thought Tokyo tradition true nature Ts'ui TSCC Tsu-t'ang Wang Wang Pi Wei-yen writings written WYYH Yii's Yiieh-chou
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