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DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-G053-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved June 24, 2024, from

Article Summary

Originally a chapter in the Liji (Book of Rites), one of the Five Classics in the Confucian tradition, the Daxue (Great Learning) has for centuries attained the status of a canon, arguably the most influential foundational text in East Asian Confucian humanism. When the great neo-Confucian thinker Zhu Xi grouped the Daxue with the Zhongyong (Doctrine of the Mean), another chapter in the Liji, the Confucian Analects and the Mengzi as the Four Books, its prominence in the Confucian scriptural tradition was assured. Since the Four Books with Master Zhu’s commentaries became the required readings for the civil service examinations in 1313, and since Master Zhu insisted that the Daxue must be studied first among the Four, it has been widely acknowledged as the quintessential Confucian text.

Citing this article:
Wei-Ming, Tu. Daxue, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-G053-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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