After introducing some scholarship on the value of Mao Qiling's (1623-1713) works, we present an account of canonization processes in order to understand the hermeneutic context of Mao's battle with the Cheng-Zhu orthodoxy. His work is an attempt to decanonizing Zhu Xi's Four Books, preferring instead an alternative relying on the Old Texts of the and Zhongyong. Mao argues against Zhu Xi's textual changes and interpretations on a number of bases, producing a hermeneutics of suspicion against the Cheng-Zhu orthodoxy. Instead, Mao offers an alternative account of the sagely way, following precedents of Wang Yangming.
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