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Four Books

Four Books or Ssu Shu. A group of texts within the Confucian Classics, singled out for special attention by the literati (ju) of the Confucian renaissance in the Sung period (960–1279). It included Lun Yü (Analects), Meng Tzu (Mencius), Ta Hsüeh (Great Learning), and Chung Yung (Doctrine of the Mean). These works, equipped with the commentaries of Chu Hsi (1130–1200), provided the classical authority for the neo-Confucian programme of self-cultivation for the attainment of sainthood.

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