Zhu Xi's neo-Confucian synthesis, but it lacks the transcendentalist elements and is rigorously centered on 'this world,' expressing more modest aspirations."
-SM Stirling, In The Courts Of The Crimson Kings (New York, 2008), p. 210.
When reading this passage, I did not recognize the name "Zhu Xi," although I have probably encountered it before. When reading about Chinese philosophy, I am more interested in the Buddhist-Taoist synthesis that became Zen than in Confucianism but, as a former student of Hegelian philosophy, I am always interested in "synthesis." (A Religious Studies Professor at Lancaster University said that the only original thinker was Adam. Everyone else synthesizes.)
Like Poul Anderson, SM Stirling displays knowledge of Terrestrial religious philosophies. It is a major task to imagine equivalent traditions on another planet. Comparisons, as in this case with neo-Confucianism, are helpful but we must remember that the imaginary philosophy, in this case Sh'u Maz, is extraterrestrial.