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My research interests are the intellectual and cultural histories during the late imperial China, particularly Neo-Confucianism. Because the importance of Confucianism in the construction of the traditional political system and forming the significant content of Chinese cultural values, I have chosen to study it as a way to try to understand the tradition of my own culture. For many years, Neo-Confucian scholars and their texts had been my primary subject of research. Through these people and their words, I was frequently able to read in them a profounced religiosity and transcendental spirit. The Neo-Confucianism of the late Ming is magnificent, and its interweaving with the contemporary politics and the sad fates of individual Neo-Confucians is especially moving. Neo-Confucianism in the early Qing period is usually seen as unremarkable, but recently I have encountered several unusual and extremely creative works that are full of intellectual curiosity. In the future I will keep Ming and Qing intellectual history as an area of research, and also hope to study the interactions between Confucianism and Christianity. Some of my representative published works include: The Wang Yang-ming School during the Ming Dynasty: History, Thought, and Practice (2003), Ruling All under Heaven with Filial Piety: The Xiaojing in Late Imperial China (2011), and Sagehood and the Familial Ethics: Confucianism in the Contexts of Religious Dialogues during the Ming Qing Transition (2017).
Monographs, Collected Essays
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