George L. Israel, Ph.D. (2008), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is Professor of History at Middle Georgia State University. He has authored two books and several articles on Chinese intellectual history and Wang Yangming.

The Trouble with Wang Yangming

The revered Confucian Wang Yangming has received much attention in recent years, not only because his compelling life story and philosophy deservedly attract it, but also because President Xi Jinping has openly expressed admiration for him. Building on the foundation of his grassroots popularity and historical and philosophical significance, the government of China has actively encouraged learning from the Ming Dynasty scholar-official. However, the political implications of his tenets and conduct as a Ming official have long been the subject of heated debate, one that remains relevant today. This essay reviews the revival of Yangmingism in China and explores the meaning of it.

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