Chu Hsi

Chu Hsi

[joo shee]
Chu Hsi, 1130-1200, Chinese philosopher of Neo-Confucianism. While borrowing heavily from Buddhism, his new metaphysics reinvigorated Confucianism. According to Chu Hsi, the normative principle of human nature is pure and good. Expressed in concrete form human nature is less than perfect, but it can be refined through self-cultivation based on study of the classics. His thought was orthodox during the Yüan, Ming, and Ch'ing dynasties. For 600 years students memorized his classical commentaries until the Chinese examination system was abolished in 1905.

See studies by W.-T. Chan (1987, 1989).

Chu Hsi-ning (1927-1998) was born in Shandong province. In 1945, he entered an art college in Hangzhou, but dropped out to join the nationalist army in the struggle against the communists. He reached the rank of colonel. He was one of the soldiers who accompanied Chiang Kai-shek to Taiwan in 1949. He came to prominence as a writer in the 1950s and remained productive until his death.

He can be grouped with anti-communist writers or the soldier writers. His fiction displays an interest in the impact of modernity on ordinary people and in the clash of social forces. These are concerns he inherited from the May 4th movement and the writers of the 1930s. However, Chu Hsi-ning's, unlike that of many Chinese writers of the 1930s, was not leftist. In fact, he is conservative. His stories reinforce traditional communal values and a morally Christian worldview.

He is the father of writers Chu Tien-wen and Chu Tien-hsin, together with whom he participated in the Three-Three series of publications in the late 1970s. The "threes" stand for the Three Principles of the People and for the Christian trinity.

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