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An Examination of the “New Learning” Usage of daoxue in Northern Song China

This article examines the usage of the term daoxue 道學 by “New Learning” 新學 scholars in Northern Song China. It emphasizes the role played by New Learning scholars, particularly Wang Anshi 王安石 (1021-1086) and his disciples, in developing a philosophical understanding of the rubric of daoxue as a way of learning in self-cultivation and a learning of the Heavenly Way. Concerning the early history of daoxue, the New Learning scholars served as important brokers in the transition from Daoist and Buddhist usage of daoxue to the “orthodox” version of the Daoxue tradition established by Cheng Yi程頤 (1033-1107) and Zhu Xi 朱熹 (1130-1200).