Brill’s Encyclopedia of China

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Love and Friendship
(1,292 words)

Love in China features a number of characteristics which are connected with Chinese history and the cultural heritage:

(1) Love, as any other passion, was generally viewed with suspicion by orthodox ideologies, regardless of whether they were Confucianism, Buddhism, Neo-Confucianism, or Communism. Excessive love, which was equated with sensual desire, was seen as a threat to the institutions.

(2) Neo-Confucianism was not in principle opposed to feelings, as long as they conformed to the institutions; often it defined itself as different from Buddhist a…

Cite this page
Santangelo, Paolo, “Love and Friendship”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of China, Managing Editor English Edition: Daniel Leese. Consulted online on 01 February 2023 <>
First published online: 2008
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004168633, 20121018

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