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Xunzi and Zhu Xi


  • John Berthrong

    Corresponding author
    1. Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts
    • JOHN BERTHRONG, Professor, School of Theology, Boston University. Specialties: comparative philosophy, theology and religious studies, Neo-Confucianism. E-mail:

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Mou Zongsan 牟宗三 ironically once wrote that Zhu Xi 朱熹 could be considered Xunzi's 荀子 philosophical revenge on Mengzi 孟子. Mou implied that when you retreat from Zhu's staunch rhetorical support of Mengzi philosophy, what you discover are all kinds of significant analogies between the philosophical lexicon as well as deeper structural affinities between Xunzi and Zhu Xi. We discover, ironically, that there is a great deal of merit in Mou's offhanded suggestion of the comparison of two of the greatest Confucian masters.