The Rise and Suppression of Neo-Confucianism during the Early and Middle Southern Song Dynasty

Jiawei Zhang

    Research output: Unpublished conference presentation (presented paper, abstract, poster)Conference presentation (not published in journal/proceeding/book)Academic research


    Neo-Confucianism was extensively practiced in
    the late Northern Song Dynasty, but it wasn't until the early
    Southern Song Dynasty that it gained governmental recognition.
    To clear Emperor Song Huizong ( 宋徽宗, 1082-1135) of
    responsibility for the loss of the land, Emperor Song Gaozong (
    宋高宗, 1107-1187) remade the history of the middle-late
    Northern Song Dynasty. According to the newly created history,
    Wang Anshi (王安石, 1021–1086) was viewed as a sly official
    who deceived Emperor Song Shenzong (宋神宗, 1048–1085). In
    that story, Emperor Shenzong wouldn't be blamed for the
    reform, which is thought to have been the reason the Northern
    Song Dynasty fell. The court used Neo-Confucianism to achieve
    this political objective because the Neo-Confucianists excelled at
    criticizing Wang Anshi's school. Later, however, the imperial
    government also used Wang Anshi's school to lessen Neo-
    Confucianism’s influence. This may explain why Wang Anshi's
    canonization in the Confucian Temple wasn't revoked until
    1244. During the reign of Emperor Song Xiaozong (宋孝宗,
    1127–1194), there were numerous requests to let Neo-
    Confucianists to take Wang Anshi's place in the Confucian
    Temple, but they were all turned down. We can observe the
    conflict between political forces and schools in imperial China
    through the long history of Neo Confucianism's being
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusNot published / presented only - May 2023
    EventPolyU Research Student Conference (PRSC 2023) - , Hong Kong
    Duration: 8 May 20239 May 2023


    ConferencePolyU Research Student Conference (PRSC 2023)
    Country/TerritoryHong Kong
    Internet address


    • Neo-Confucianism
    • Wang Anshi
    • Emperor Song Gaozong
    • Emperor Song Xiaozong


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