Cho-Ying Li and Charles Hartman have recovered a stone inscription written by the Song chief councilor Qin Gui in 1155. Effaced from its original stele in 1427 but preserved in a Ming official’s collected works, the text contains the expression “succession of the Way” (daotong 道統), which existing scholarship considers Zhu Xi to have coined in 1181. Analyzing its content, rhetoric, and historical background, Li and Hartman establish the inscription as a major monument of Song political and intellectual history. They trace the origins of the term daotong, which Qin Gui used to describe Emperor Gaozong’s relationship to ancient Zhou-dynasty paragons, to the Northern Song monarchy. They argue further that Zhu Xi’s redefinition of daotong as a transmission of orthodox learning from antiquity to private scholars presented a stark challenge to the established rhetoric of imperial authority.


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pp. 387-448
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