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Neo-Confucian Self-Cultivation$
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Barry C. Keenan

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780824834968

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824834968.001.0001

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(p.109) Legacies
Neo-Confucian Self-Cultivation

Barry C. Keenan

University of Hawai'i Press

This concluding chapter reviews the evolution of Neo-Confucianism since its eleventh-century incarnation to its late nineteenth-century synthesis, reiterating key points from previous chapters before arriving at the question of whether or not Neo-Confucian self-cultivation still remains a relevant resource for society in the twenty-first century. In doing so the chapter considers the legacy of Neo-Confucianism as a moral and spiritual practice, whose principles still resound in surprisingly modern contexts. Finally, the chapter concludes with reflections on the nature of the Neo-Confucian self-cultivation program not as something stemming from universal truth, but as something which manifests in social interactions—a kind of “relationship ethics” that forms the basis of Neo-Confucian morality.

Keywords:   Neo-Confucianism, Neo-Confucian legacies, Neo-Confucian self-cultivation, self-cultivation, social interactions, relationship ethics, Neo-Confucian morality

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