During the traumatic opening decades of the Southern Sung, Emperor Kao-tsung's unspoken determination to win imperial safety at any cost shaped not only court policy but Confucian intellectual developments. The intellectual climate of the Northern Sung had been confident, buoyant, outreaching, and exploratory; in the Southern Sung, it turned inward. The turn was not, however, a simple turn to conservative moral and political Confucianism; and in this book, James T. C. Liu explores how Kao-tsung used ideological window-dressing to consolidate extraordinary state power in the emperor's hands. Ups and downs in the political fortunes of moralistic conservatives are also specially examined for their effects on the nature of the Neo-Confucianism that eventually became state orthodoxy.
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