Teachings of Li Jianluo


This work is a collection of writings by Li Cai (1529–1606), a native of Fengcheng, Jiangxi Province. Li Cai, also called Jianluo xian sheng (Master Jianluo), received his jin shi degree in 1562. He worked in various positions, including in a military post during the campaign against Burma in the Wanli reign. He enjoyed a series of promotions, but also suffered imprisonment. He was chiefly known as a philosopher, a Neo-Confucian, and a teacher. His biography is recorded in the 227th juan of Ming shi (The history of Ming), written by Chen Zhihe, one of his disciples, who was also the compiler of this work and the author of one of its prefaces. The works collected here are mainly Li Cai’s writings relating to Confucianism, Buddhism, and Daoism and the differences between these religions. Early on Li Cai followed Zou Shouyi (1491–1562), a disciple of Wang Yangming, the Ming philosopher and the most important Neo-Confucian figure after Zhu Xi. However, Li Cai laid down his own doctrine of ethics, emphasizing the cultivation of the person, and attempted to transmit “the way” and his doctrine as representative of Confucian teachings. This work of eight juan, in four volumes, printed during the Wanli period (1572–1620), includes more than ten of Li’s works, including Guan wo tang gao (Manuscripts of the Guanwo Hall), Lun yu da yi (Meanings of the analects), Dao xing shan bian (Notes on the way of good nature), and Zheng xue tang gao (Manuscripts of the Zhengxue Hall). The book was printed for a larger audience, but its circulation was limited. This work was reviewed by Ning Xian and edited by Chi Zhuoying, both disciples of Li’s, and Wu Daokun wrote the postscript.

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8 juan in 4 volumes

Last updated: May 3, 2013