Confucianism (Chinese: 儒家; pinyin: Rújiā) is an ancient Chinese ethical and philosophical system originally developed from the teachings of the early Chinese philosopher Confucius (Kong Fuzi/K'ung-fu-tzu, lit. Pinyin, more formally Hanyu pinyin, is the most common Standard Mandarin Romanization system in use China ( Wade-Giles ( Mandarin) Chung¹kuo² is a cultural region, an ancient Civilization, and depending on perspective a National Ethics is a major branch of Philosophy, encompassing right conduct and good life Philosophy is the study of general problems concerning matters such as existence knowledge truth beauty justice validity mind and language Confucius ( lit " Master Kung " September 28, 551 BC - 479 BC) was a Chinese thinker and social philosopher "Master Kung"). It focuses on human morality and good deeds. Confucianism is a complex system of moral, social, political, philosophical, and quasi-religious thought that has had tremendous influence on the culture and history of East Asia. Morality (from the Latin la moralitas "manner character proper behavior" has three principal meanings Social philosophy is the philosophical study of questions about social Behavior (typically of Humans. Politics Politics is the process by which groups of people make decisions Chinese philosophy is Philosophy written in the Chinese tradition of thought A religion is a set of Tenets and practices often centered upon specific Supernatural and moral claims about Reality, the Cosmos Some consider it to be the state religion of East Asian countries because of governmental promotion of Confucian values. A state religion (also called an official religion, established church or state church) is a religious body or Creed officially
The cultures most strongly influenced by Confucianism include those of China, Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, and Vietnam, as well as various territories settled predominantly by Chinese people. Culture (from the Latin cultura stemming from colere, meaning "to cultivate" generally refers to patterns of human activity and the symbolic The Culture of China (traditional Chinese 中國文化 simplified Chinese 中国文化 is home to one of the world's oldest and most complex Civilizations covering a history This article is about the traditional culture of Korea. For the modern culture see Culture of North Korea and Culture of South Korea The culture of Taiwan is a hybrid blend of Confucianist Han Chinese, Japanese, European, American, global, The culture of Japan has evolved greatly over millenia from the country's prehistoric Jomon culture to its contemporary hybrid culture which combines influences from Asia As Singapore is a small and relatively modern amalgam of Chinese, Malay, Indian and European immigrants the culture of Singapore expresses The Culture of Vietnam which is the agricultural civilization based on Wet rice cultivating is one of the oldest of such in the Asia Pacific region Han Chinese ( are an Ethnic group native to China and by most modern definitions the largest single Ethnic group in the world.
|This article contains Chinese text. |
Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Chinese characters. Mojibake is the happenstance of incorrect unreadable characters (garbage characters shown when Computer software fails to render a text correctly according to its associated A Chinese character, also known as a Han character ( is a Logogram used in writing Chinese (hanzi Japanese (
Confucianism was chosen by Han Wudi (141 B. C. - 86 B. C. ) for use as a political system to govern the Chinese state. A political system is a System of Politics and Government. It is usually compared to the Law system, Economic system, Cultural Chinese civilization originated in various city-states along the Yellow River ( valley in the Neolithic era Despite its loss of influence during the Tang Dynasty, Confucian doctrine remained a mainstream Chinese orthodoxy for two millennia until the 20th century and it was still in most part of China, when it was attacked by radical Chinese thinkers as a vanguard of a pre-modern system and an obstacle to China's modernization, eventually culminating in its repression during the Cultural Revolution in the People's Republic of China. The Tang Dynasty ( Middle Chinese: dhɑng (June 18 618&ndashJune 4 907 was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by The idea of modernization comes from a view of societies as having a standard Evolutionary pattern as described in the Social evolutionism theories The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in the People’s Republic of China was a struggle for power within the Communist Party of China that manifested into Talk People's Republic of China) PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA ARTICLE GUIDELINES Since the end of the Cultural Revolution, Confucianism has been revived in mainland China, and both interest in and debate about Confucianism have surged. Mainland China, Continental China, the Chinese mainland or simply the mainland, is a geopolitical term synonymous with the area that is under the jurisdiction
Confucianism as passed down to the 19th and 20th centuries derives primarily from the school of the Neo-Confucians, led by Zhu Xi, who gave Confucianism renewed vigor in the Song and later dynasties. Neo-Confucianism (/( is a form of Confucianism that was primarily developed during the Song Dynasty, but which can be traced back to Han Yu and Li Zhu Xi or Chu Hsi (朱熹 born October 18, 1130, Yuxi, Fujian province China &ndash died April 23, 1200 The Song Dynasty ( Wade-Giles: Sung Ch'ao was a ruling dynasty in China between 960&ndash1279 CE it succeeded the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms A dynasty is a succession of rulers who belong to the same family for generations Neo-Confucianism combined Taoist and Buddhist ideas with existing Confucian ideas to create a more complete metaphysics than had ever existed before. Taoism (pronounced /ˈdaʊɪzəm/ or /ˈtaʊɪzəm/ also spelled '''Daoism''') refers to a variety of related Philosophical and Religious traditions Buddhism is a family of beliefs and practices Metaphysics is the branch of Philosophy investigating principles of reality transcending those of any particular science At the same time, many forms of Confucianism have historically declared themselves opposed to the Buddhist and Taoist belief systems.
Confucius (551 BCE – 479 BCE) was a sage and social philosopher of China whose teachings have deeply influenced East Asia, including China, Korea, and Japan for two thousand five hundred years. Confucius ( lit " Master Kung " September 28, 551 BC - 479 BC) was a Chinese thinker and social philosopher Social philosophy is the philosophical study of questions about social Behavior (typically of Humans. The relationship between Confucianism and Confucius himself, however, is tenuous. Confucius' ideas were not accepted during his lifetime and he frequently bemoaned the fact that he remained unemployed by any of the feudal lords. Feudal society is a sometimes-debated term used to describe the Social order in the Western Europe, Central Europe, and sometimes Japan
As with many other prominent figures such as Jesus, Socrates, and Buddha, Confucius did not leave any writings to put forward his ideas. Jesus of Nazareth (7–2 BC / BCE —26–36 AD / CE) SOCRATES is the European Community action programme in the field of Education. Siddhārtha Gautama ( Sanskrit; Pali: Siddhattha Gotama) was a spiritual Teacher from Ancient India and the founder Instead, only texts with recollections by his disciples and their students are available. This factor is further complicated by the "Burning of the Books and Burying of the Scholars", a massive suppression of dissenting thought during the Qin Dynasty, more than two centuries after Confucius' death. Burning of the books and burial of the scholars ( is a phrase that refers to a policy and a sequence of events in the Qin Dynasty of China, between the period of Dissent is a sentiment or philosophy of non-agreement or Opposition to an Idea (eg Not to be confused with the Qing Dynasty, the last dynasty of China
However, we can sketch out Confucius' ideas from the fragments that remain. Confucius was a man of letters who worried about the troubled times in which he lived. An intellectual (from the adjective meaning "involving thought and reason" is a person who tries to use his or her Intelligence and analytical thinking, He went from place to place trying to spread his political ideas and influence to the many kings contending for supremacy in China.
In the Eastern Zhou Dynasty (772 BCE–221 BCE), the reigning king of the Zhou gradually became a mere figurehead. The Zhou Dynasty ( POJ: Chiu Tiau 1122 BC to 256 BC was preceded by the Shang Dynasty and followed by the Qin Dynasty in China. In politics a figurehead, by Metaphor with the carved figurehead at the prow of a sailing ship is a person who holds an important title or office yet executes little In this power vacuum, the rulers of small states began to vie with one another for military and political dominance. A power vacuum is an expression for a political situation that can occur when a Government has no identifiable central Authority. Deeply persuaded of the need for his mission — "If right principles prevailed through the empire, there would be no need for me to change its state" Analects XVIII, 6 — Confucius tirelessly promoted the virtues of ancient illustrious sages such as the Duke of Zhou. God of Dreams Duke of Zhou is also known as the 'God of Dreams' Confucius tried to amass sufficient political power to found a new dynasty, as when he planned to accept an invitation from a rebel to "make a Zhou dynasty in the East" (Analects XV, 5). As the common saying that Confucius was a "king without a crown" indicates, however, he never gained the opportunity to apply his ideas. He was expelled from states many times and eventually returned to his homeland to spend the last part of his life teaching. The Analects of Confucius, the closest primary source we have for his thoughts, relates his sayings and discussions with rulers and disciples in short passages. The Analects ( also known as the Analects of Confucius, are a record of the words and acts of the central Chinese thinker and philosopher Primary source is a term used in a number of disciplines In Historiography, a primary source (also called original source) is a Document, Recording There is considerable debate over how to interpret the Analects.
Unlike most European and American philosophers, Confucius did not rely on deductive reasoning to convince his listeners. The Americas are the lands of the Western hemisphere or New World, consisting of the Continents of North America and South America Deductive reasoning is Reasoning which uses deductive Arguments to move from given statements ( Premises to Conclusions which must be true if the Instead, he used figures of rhetoric such as analogy and aphorism to explain his ideas. Rhetoric has had many definitions no simple definition can do it justice Analogy is both the cognitive process of transferring Information from a particular subject (the analogue or source to another particular subject (the target and Most of the time these techniques were highly contextualized. For these reasons, European and American readers might find his philosophy muddled or unclear. However, Confucius claimed that he sought "a unity all pervading" (Analects XV, 3) and that there was "one single thread binding my way together. " ([op. cit. IV, 15]). The first occurrences of a real Confucian system may have been created by his disciples or by their disciples. During the philosophically fertile period of the Hundred Schools of Thought, great early figures of Confucianism such as Mencius and Xun Zi (not to be confused with Sun Zi) developed Confucianism into an ethical and political doctrine. The Hundred Schools of Thought ( were philosophers and schools that had flourished from 770 to 221 BC an era of great cultural and intellectual expansion in China. Life Mencius also known by his birth name Meng Ke or Ko, was born in the State of Zou (simp Xun Zi ( ca 300 – 230 BCE was a Chinese Confucian Philosopher who lived during the Warring States Period and contributed Sun Tzu ( ("Master Sun" also called Sun Wu ( is traditionally considered to be the author of The Art of War (also simply called the Both had to fight contemporary ideas and gain the ruler's confidence through argumentation and reasoning. Mencius gave Confucianism a fuller explanation of human nature, of what is needed for good government, of what morality is, and founded his idealist doctrine on the claim that human nature is good. Human nature is the concept that there are a set of logical characteristics including ways of thinking feeling and acting that all 'normal' human beings have in common Morality (from the Latin la moralitas "manner character proper behavior" has three principal meanings Xun Zi opposed many of Mencius' ideas, and built a structured system upon the idea that human nature is bad and had to be educated and exposed to the rites, before being able to express their goodness for the people. A rite is an established ceremonious usually Religious act or Process art. Some of Xun Zi's disciples, such as Han Feizi and Li Si, became Legalists (a kind of law-based early totalitarianism, quite distant from virtue-based Confucianism) and conceived the state system that allowed Qin Shi Huang to unify China under the strong state control of every human activity. Han Fei (also Han Feizi) ( (ca 280&ndash233 BC was a Philosopher who along with Li Si, developed Xun Zi 's mutualism into the doctrine embodied Li Si ( (ca 280 BC - September or October 208 BC was the influential Prime Minister (or Chancellor of the feudal state and later of the dynasty of Qin, between In Chinese history, Legalism ( was one of the four main philosophic schools during the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States Period (the other Totalitarianism (or totalitarian rule) is a concept used to describe Political systems where a State regulates nearly every aspect of public and private Qin Shi Huang ( (259 BC – September 10 210 BC personal name Yíng Zhèng, was king of the Chinese State of Qin from 247 BCE to 221 BCE (during the The culmination of Confucius' dream of unification and peace in China can therefore be argued to have come from Legalism, a school of thought almost diametrically opposed to his reliance on rites and virtue.
Confucianism survived its suppression during the Qin Dynasty partly thanks to the discovery of a trove of Confucian classics hidden in the walls of a scholar's house. Confucius ( lit " Master Kung " September 28, 551 BC - 479 BC) was a Chinese thinker and social philosopher Chongming County ( Wu: Dzonmin Jeu is the only county under the jurisdiction of Shanghai, China. Shanghai ( 上[[wikt 海|海]] is the largest city in China in terms of population and one of the largest urban areas in the world with over 20 million Not to be confused with the Qing Dynasty, the last dynasty of China In Chinese philology the Old Texts ( refer to some versions of the Five Classics discovered during the Han Dynasty, written in archaic characters After the Qin, the new Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD) approved of Confucian doctrine and sponsored Confucian scholars, eventually making Confucianism the official state philosophy (see Emperor Wu of Han). The Han Dynasty ( 206 BC–220 AD followed the Qin Dynasty and preceded the Three Kingdoms in China. Background birth and years as crown prince Emperor Wu was the tenth child of Emperor Jing, and was born to one of Emperor Jing's favorite Concubines, Study of the Confucian classics became the basis of the government examination system and the core of the educational curriculum. No serious attempt to replace Confucianism arose until it was ejected from schools by government after the Republic of China was founded in 1912 and afterwards there were debates on it for about 15 years until the Nationalist Government was established in Nanking. REPUBLIC OF CHINA ARTICLE GUIDELINES ( Chinese: 南京 Romanizations Nánjīng ( Pinyin) Nan-ching ( Wade-Giles
After its reformulation as Neo-Confucianism by Zhu Xi, Wang Yangming and the other Neo-Confucians, Confucianism also became accepted as state philosophies in Korea. Neo-Confucianism (/( is a form of Confucianism that was primarily developed during the Song Dynasty, but which can be traced back to Han Yu and Li Zhu Xi or Chu Hsi (朱熹 born October 18, 1130, Yuxi, Fujian province China &ndash died April 23, 1200 Life and times Born Wang Shouren (守仁 in Yuyao, Zhejiang Province, his Courtesy name was Bo'an (伯安 Korea of the Joseon Dynasty has been termed a "Confucian state. " 
Under the Chinese domination, Confucianism had yet to gain a position in the Vietnamese society . However, Confucianism permeated Vietnamese life after Vietnam gained independence from China in 939 . As in China, an intellectual elite developed, and the principles of obedience and respect for education and authority were instilled throughout society.
In Hanoi in 1070, the establishment of the Van Mieu, a temple of learning dedicated to Confucius, marked the emergence of Confucianism as a cult. Hanoi ( Vietnamese: Hà Nội Hán Tự: 河[[wikt 内|内]], estimated population 3398889 (2007, is the Capital of Vietnam Văn Miếu ( 文[[wikt 廟|廟]] or Temple of Literature, known as "pagode des Corbeaux" during the period of French colonisation is a Temple of Confucius Like China, Confucianism in Vietnam reached a peak during the 15th century. Due to the need of constructing a unified nation, a centralized administration and a social order, Confucianism took the place of Buddhism to become the leading philosophy under the Le Dynasty. The Later Lê Dynasty ( Vietnamese: Nhà Hậu Lê; Hán Việt: 後黎朝 sometimes referred to as the Lê Dynasty (the earlier Lê Dynasty Confucianism took root deep into the social and political structure, the system of education and examinations and the circle of Confucian scholars gradually dominated social and moral life.
"Lead the people with administrative injunctions and put them in their place with penal law, and they will avoid punishments but will be without a sense of shame. Lead them with excellence and put them in their place through roles and ritual practices, and in addition to developing a sense of shame, they will order themselves harmoniously. " (Analects II, 3)
The above explains an essential difference between legalism and ritualism and points to a key difference between European / American and East Asian societies. this article is on the Anglican church in particular See Orthopraxis for ritualism in general Confucius argues that under law, external authorities administer punishments after illegal actions, so people generally behave well without understanding reasons why they should; where as with ritual, patterns of behavior are internalized and exert their influence before actions are taken, so people behave properly because they fear shame and want to avoid losing face. Internalization has different definitions depending on the field that the term is used in Face refers to two separate but related concepts in Chinese social relations. In this sense, "rite" (Chinese: 禮; pinyin: lǐ) is an ideal form of social norm. Pinyin, more formally Hanyu pinyin, is the most common Standard Mandarin Romanization system in use Li (禮 Pinyin: Lǐ is a classical Chinese Ideograph which finds its most extensive use in Confucian and post-Confucian Chinese philosophy
The Chinese character for "rites" previously had the religious meaning of "sacrifice". Its Confucian meaning ranges from politeness and propriety to the understanding of each person's correct place in society. Externally, ritual is used to distinguish between people; their usage allows people to know at all times who is the younger and who the elder, who is the guest and who the host and so forth. Internally, they indicate to people their duty amongst others and what to expect from them.
Internalization is the main process in ritual. Formalized behavior becomes progressively internalized, desires are channeled and personal cultivation becomes the mark of social correctness. Though this idea conflicts with the common saying that "the cowl does not make the monk", in Confucianism sincerity is what enables behavior to be absorbed by individuals. Obeying ritual with sincerity makes ritual the most powerful way to cultivate oneself. Thus,
"Respectfulness, without the Rites, becomes laborious bustle; carefulness, without the Rites, become timidity; boldness, without the Rites, becomes insubordination; straightforwardness, without the Rites, becomes rudeness" (Analects VIII, 2).
Ritual can be seen as a means to find the balance between opposing qualities that might otherwise lead to conflict.
Ritual divides people into categories and builds hierarchical relationships through protocols and ceremonies, assigning everyone a place in society and a form of behavior. @@@ main@@@ - title Hierarchy@@@ keywords structure; sociology; information@@@ review@@@ - Music that seems to have played a significant role in Confucius' life is given as an exception as it transcends such boundaries, 'unifying the hearts'. Music is an Art form in which the medium is Sound organized in Time.
Although the Analects promotes ritual heavily, Confucius himself often behaved otherwise; for example, when he cried at his preferred disciple's death, or when he met a fiendish princess (VI, 28). Later more rigid ritualisms who forgot that ritual is "more than presents of jade and silk" (XVII, 12) strayed from their master's position.
"To govern by virtue, let us compare it to the North Star: it stays in its place, while the myriad stars wait upon it. Taiwan ( Taiwanese: Tâi-oân/Tāi-oân (historically 大灣/台員/大員/台圓/大圓/台窩灣 is an Island in East Asia. REPUBLIC OF CHINA ARTICLE GUIDELINES " (Analects II, 1)
Another key Confucian concept is that in order to govern others one must first govern oneself. When developed sufficiently, the king's personal virtue spreads beneficent influence throughout the kingdom. This idea is developed further in the Great Learning and is tightly linked with the Taoist concept of wu wei (traditional Chinese: 無為; simplified Chinese: 无为; pinyin: wú wèi): the less the king does, the more that is done. The Great Learning ( is the first of the Four books which were selected by Zhu Xi during the Song Dynasty as a foundational introduction to Taoism (pronounced /ˈdaʊɪzəm/ or /ˈtaʊɪzəm/ also spelled '''Daoism''') refers to a variety of related Philosophical and Religious traditions Wu wei ( is an important tenet of Taoism that involves knowing when to act and when not to act Pinyin, more formally Hanyu pinyin, is the most common Standard Mandarin Romanization system in use By being the "calm centre" around which the kingdom turns, the king allows everything to function smoothly and avoids having to tamper with the individual parts of the whole.
This idea may be traced back to early shamanistic beliefs, such as that the king (Chinese: 王; pinyin: wáng) being the axle between the sky, human beings and the Earth. Pinyin, more formally Hanyu pinyin, is the most common Standard Mandarin Romanization system in use The character itself shows the three levels of the universe, united by a single line. Another complementary view is that this idea may have been used by ministers and counsellors to deter aristocratic whims that would otherwise be to the detriment of the population.
"In teaching, there should be no distinction of classes. "
(Analects XV, 39)
Although Confucius claimed that he never invented anything but was only transmitting ancient knowledge (see Analects VII, 1), he did produce a number of new ideas. Many European and American admirers such as Voltaire and H. G. Creel point to the (then) revolutionary idea of replacing the nobility of blood with one of virtue. François-Marie Arouet ( 21 November 1694 30 May 1778) better known by the Pen name Voltaire, was a French Herrlee Glessner Creel ( January 19, 1905 - June 1, 1994) was an American Sinologist and Philosopher, and authority on Jūnzǐ (君子), which had meant "noble man" before Confucius' work, slowly assumed a new connotation in the course of his writings, rather as "gentleman" did in English. The term gentleman (from Latin gentilis, belonging to a race or "gens" and "man" Cognate with the French word gentilhomme English is a West Germanic language originating in England and is the First language for most people in the United Kingdom, the United States A virtuous plebeian who cultivates his qualities can be a "gentleman", while a shameless son of the king is only a "small man". That he allowed students of different classes to be his disciples is a clear demonstration that he fought against the feudal structures in Chinese society.
Another new idea, that of meritocracy, led to the introduction of the Imperial examination system in China. Meritocracy is a system of a government or another organization wherein Appointments are made and responsibilities are given based on demonstrated talent and Ability The Imperial examinations ( in Imperial China determined who among the population would be permitted to enter the state's Bureaucracy. This system allowed anyone who passed an examination to become a government officer, a position which would bring wealth and honor to the whole family. The Chinese examination system seems to have been started in 165 BCE, when certain candidates for public office were called to the Chinese capital for examination of their moral excellence by the emperor. Over the following centuries the system grew until finally almost anyone who wished to become an official had to prove his worth by passing written government examinations.
Confucius praised those kings who left their kingdoms to those apparently most qualified rather than to their elder sons. His achievement was the setting up of a school that produced statesmen with a strong sense of state and duty, known as 儒家 (Chinese: 儒家; pinyin: Rújiā). Pinyin, more formally Hanyu pinyin, is the most common Standard Mandarin Romanization system in use During the Warring States Period and the early Han dynasty, China grew greatly and the need for a solid and centralized corporation of government officers able to read and write administrative papers arose. The Warring States Period ( also known as the Era of Warring States covers the period from some time in the 5th century BC to the unification of China by the The Han Dynasty ( 206 BC–220 AD followed the Qin Dynasty and preceded the Three Kingdoms in China. As a result, Confucianism was promoted and the men it produced became an effective counter to the remaining landowner aristocrats otherwise threatening the unity of the state.
Since then Confucianism has been used as a kind of "state religion", with authoritarianism, legitimism, paternalism, and submission to authority used as political tools to rule China. A state religion (also called an official religion, established church or state church) is a religious body or Creed officially Most emperors used a mix of legalism and Confucianism as their ruling doctrine, often with the latter embellishing the former.
A simple way to appreciate Confucian thought is to consider it as being based on varying levels of honesty. SIMPLE, the S ession Initiation Protocol for I nstant M essaging and P resence L everaging E xtensions, is an instant Appreciation is a term used in Accounting relating to the increase in value of an Asset. Confucianism ( is a Chinese ethical and philosophical system originally developed from the teachings of the fifth century B Thought and thinking are mental forms and Processes respectively ("thought" is both LEVEL is a Computer and video games Magazine originating in the Czech Republic with branches in Romania and Turkey Honesty is the human quality of communicating and acting Truthfully related to Truth as a value In practice, the elements of Confucianism accumulated over time and matured into the following forms:
In Confucianism the term "ritual" was soon extended to include secular ceremonial behavior before being used to refer to the propriety or politeness which colors everyday life. A ritual is a set of actions often thought to have Symbolic value the performance of which is usually prescribed by a Religion or by the Traditions Secularity ( adjective form secular) is the state of being separate from Religion. A ceremony is an activity infused with Ritual significance performed on a special occasion Behavior or behaviour (see spelling differences) refers to the actions or Reactions of an object or Organism, usually Politeness is best expressed as the practical application of good Manners or Etiquette. Life is a state that distinguishes Organisms from non-living objects such as non-life and dead organisms being manifested by growth through Metabolism Rituals were codified and treated as a comprehensive system of norms. Confucius himself tried to revive the etiquette of earlier dynasties. Etiquette is a code that governs the expectations of Social behavior, according to the contemporary conventional norm within a Society, After his death, people regarded him as a great authority on ritual behaviors.
It is important to note that "ritual" has a different meaning in the context of Confucianism, especially today, from its context in many religions. In Confucianism, the acts that people tend to carry out in every day life are considered ritual. Rituals are not necessarily regimented or arbitrary practices, but the routines that people often undergo knowingly or unknowingly through out their lives. Shaping the rituals in a way that leads to a content and healthy society, and to content and healthy people, is one purpose of Confucian philosophy.
One theme central to Confucianism is that of relationships, and the differing duties arising from the different status one held in relation to others. Individuals are held to simultaneously stand in different degrees of relationship with different people, namely, as a junior in relation to their parents and elders, and as a senior in relation to their younger siblings, students, and others. While juniors are considered in Confucianism to owe strong duties of reverence and service to their seniors, seniors also have duties of benevolence and concern toward juniors. This theme consistently manifests itself in many aspects of East Asian cultures even to this day, with extensive filial duties on the part of children toward parents and elders, and great concern of parents toward their children.
Social harmony -- the great goal of Confucianism -- thus results partly from every individual knowing his or her place in the social order and playing his or her part well. When Duke Jing of Qi asked about government, by which he meant proper administration so as to bring social harmony, Confucius replied,
"There is government, when the prince is prince, and the minister is minister; when the father is father, and the son is son. Qi ( 齊; Pinyin: Qí was a powerful state during the Spring and Autumn Period and Period of the Warring States. " (Analects XII, 11, tr. Legge).
"Filial piety" (Chinese: 孝; pinyin: xiào) is considered among the greatest of virtues and must be shown towards both the living and the dead (ancestors). Pinyin, more formally Hanyu pinyin, is the most common Standard Mandarin Romanization system in use The term "filial", meaning "of a child", denotes the respect that a child, originally a son, should show to his parents. This relationship was extended by analogy to a series of five relationships (Chinese: 五倫; pinyin: wǔlún):
Specific duties were prescribed to each of the participants in these sets of relationships. Pinyin, more formally Hanyu pinyin, is the most common Standard Mandarin Romanization system in use Such duties were also extended to the dead, where the living stood as sons to their deceased family. This led to the veneration of ancestors.
In time filial piety was also built into the Chinese legal system: a criminal would be punished more harshly if the culprit had committed the crime against a parent, while fathers often exercised enormous power over their children. Much the same was true of other unequal relationships.
The main source of our knowledge of the importance of filial piety is The Book of Filial Piety, a work attributed to Confucius and his son but almost certainly written in the third century BCE. Filial piety has continued to play a central role in Confucian thinking to the present day.
Loyalty (Chinese: 忠; pinyin: zhōng) is the equivalent of filial piety on a different plane. Pinyin, more formally Hanyu pinyin, is the most common Standard Mandarin Romanization system in use It was particularly relevant for the social class, to which most of Confucius' students belonged, because the only way for an ambitious young scholar to make his way in the Confucian Chinese world was to enter a ruler's civil service. Like filial piety, however, loyalty was often subverted by the autocratic regimes of China. Confucius had advocated a sensitivity to the realpolitik of the class relations that existed in his time; he did not propose that "might makes right", but that a superior who had received the "Mandate of Heaven" (see below) should be obeyed because of his moral rectitude. Realpolitik ( German: de real “realistic” “practical” or “actual” and de Politik “politics” refers to politics or diplomacy based primarily The Mandate of Heaven (天命 Pīnyīn: Tiānmìng is a traditional Chinese philosophical concept concerning the legitimacy of rulers
In later ages, however, emphasis was placed more on the obligations of the ruled to the ruler, and less on the ruler's obligations to the ruled.
Loyalty was also an extension of one's duties to friends, family, and spouse. Loyalty to one's leader came first, then to one's family, then to one's spouse, and lastly to one's friends. Loyalty was considered one of the greater human virtues.
Confucius was concerned with people's individual development, which he maintained took place within the context of human relationships. Ritual and filial piety are the ways in which one should act towards others from an underlying attitude of humaneness. Confucius' concept of humaneness (Chinese: 仁; pinyin: rén) is probably best expressed in the Confucian version of the (Ethic of reciprocity) Golden Rule: "What you do not wish for yourself, do not do to others;". Pinyin, more formally Hanyu pinyin, is the most common Standard Mandarin Romanization system in use
Rén also has a political dimension. If the ruler lacks rén, Confucianism holds, it will be difficult if not impossible for his subjects to behave humanely. Rén is the basis of Confucian political theory: it presupposes an autocratic ruler, exhorted to refrain from acting inhumanely towards his subjects. An inhumane ruler runs the risk of losing the "Mandate of Heaven", the right to rule. Such a mandateless ruler need not be obeyed. But a ruler who reigns humanely and takes care of the people is to be obeyed strictly, for the benevolence of his dominion shows that he has been mandated by heaven. Confucius himself had little to say on the will of the people, but his leading follower Mencius did state on one occasion that the people's opinion on certain weighty matters should be polled. Life Mencius also known by his birth name Meng Ke or Ko, was born in the State of Zou (simp
The term "Jūnzǐ" (Chinese: 君子; literally "nobleman") is crucial to classical Confucianism. Junzi ( Pinyin: Jūnzǐ was a term coined by Confucius to describe his ideal human The ideal of a "gentleman" or "perfect man" is that for which Confucianism exhorts all people to strive. A succinct description of the "perfect man" is one who "combines the qualities of saint, scholar, and gentleman" (CE). The Catholic Encyclopedia, also referred to today as the Old Catholic Encyclopedia, is an English-language Encyclopedia published by The Encyclopedia In modern times the masculine translation in English is also traditional and is still frequently used. Elitism was bound up with the concept, and gentlemen were expected to act as moral guides to the rest of society.
They were to:
The great exemplar of the perfect gentleman is Confucius himself. Perhaps the greatest tragedy of his life was that he was never awarded the high official position which he desired, from which he wished to demonstrate the general well-being that would ensue if humane persons ruled and administered the state.
The opposite of the Jūnzǐ was the Xiǎorén (Chinese: 小人; pinyin: xiǎorén; literally "small person"). Pinyin, more formally Hanyu pinyin, is the most common Standard Mandarin Romanization system in use The character 小 in this context means petty in mind and heart, narrowly self-interested, greedy, superficial, or materialistic.
Like some other political philosophies, Confucianism is reluctant to employ laws. Law is a system of rules enforced through a set of Institutions used as an instrument to underpin civil obedience politics economics and society In a society where relationships are considered more important than the laws themselves, if no other power forces government officers to take the common interest into consideration, corruption and nepotism may arise. Political corruption is the use of governmental powers by government officials for illegitimate private gain Nepotism is the showing of favoritism toward relatives and friends based upon that relationship rather than on an objective evaluation of ability Meritocracy or suitability As government officers' salary was often far lower than the minimum required to raise a family, Chinese society was frequently affected by those problems. Even if some means to control and reduce corruption and nepotism have been successfully used in China, Confucianism is criticized for not providing such a means itself.
Another new idea, that of meritocracy, led to the introduction of the Imperial examination system in China. This system allowed anyone who passed an examination to become a government officer, a position which would bring wealth and honor to the whole family.
Most religions can be defined as having a set God or group of gods, an organized priesthood, a belief in a life after death, and organized traditions, thus it is debatable whether Confucianism should be called a true "religion". God is the principal or sole Deity in Religions and other belief systems that worship one deity. Life is a state that distinguishes Organisms from non-living objects such as non-life and dead organisms being manifested by growth through Metabolism Death is the termination of the biological functions that define living Organisms It refers both to a specific A religion is a set of Tenets and practices often centered upon specific Supernatural and moral claims about Reality, the Cosmos While it prescribes a great deal of ritual, little of it could be construed as worship or meditation in a formal sense. A ritual is a set of actions often thought to have Symbolic value the performance of which is usually prescribed by a Religion or by the Traditions However, Tian is sacred to many Confucians. Tian ( is one of the oldest Chinese terms for the Cosmos and a key concept in Chinese mythology, philosophy, and religion. Confucius occasionally made statements about the existence of other-worldly beings that sound distinctly agnostic and humanistic to European and American ears. Agnosticism ( Greek: α- a-, without + γνώσις gnōsis, knowledge after Gnosticism) is the philosophical view that the Humanism is a broad category of ethical philosophies that affirm the dignity and worth of all people based on the ability to determine right and wrong by appealing to universal Thus, Confucianism is often considered a secular ethical tradition and not a "religion. Secularity ( adjective form secular) is the state of being separate from Religion. Ethics is a branch of Philosophy dealing with right and wrong in human behavior A religion is a set of Tenets and practices often centered upon specific Supernatural and moral claims about Reality, the Cosmos " It is best described as a philosophy with special rituals and beliefs.
Its effect on Chinese and other East Asian societies and cultures has been immense and parallels the effects of religious movements, seen in other cultures. Those who follow the teachings of Confucius say that they are comforted by it. It includes a great deal of ritual and, in its Neo-Confucian formulation, gives a comprehensive explanation of the world, of human nature, etc. Neo-Confucianism (/( is a form of Confucianism that was primarily developed during the Song Dynasty, but which can be traced back to Han Yu and Li Moreover, religions in Chinese culture are not mutually exclusive entities — each tradition is free to find its specific niche, its field of specialization. One can practice religions such as Taoism, Christianity, Judaism, Sikhism, Jainism, Islam, Shinto, Buddhism, or Zoroastrianism and still profess Confucian beliefs. Taoism (pronounced /ˈdaʊɪzəm/ or /ˈtaʊɪzəm/ also spelled '''Daoism''') refers to a variety of related Philosophical and Religious traditions Christianity ( Greek Χριστιανισμός from the word Xριστός ( Christ)is a monotheistic Religion centered on the life and teachings Judaism (from the Greek Ioudaïsmos, derived from the Hebrew יהודה Yehudah, " Judah " in Hebrew יַהֲדוּת Yahedut Sikhism ( IPA: or; ਸਿੱਖੀ sikkhī, IPA:) founded on the teachings of Nanak and nine successive gurus in fifteenth century Jainism, traditionally known as Jain Dharma / Shraman Dharma (जैन धर्म is an ancient religion of India. For other meanings including people named 'Islam' see Islam (disambiguation. is the native religion of Japan and was once its State religion. Buddhism is a family of beliefs and practices Zoroastrianism (ˌzɔroʊˈæstriəˌnɪzəm is the religion and philosophy based on the teachings
Although Confucianism may include ancestor worship, sacrifice to ancestral spirits and an abstract celestial deity, and the deification of ancient kings and even Confucius himself, all these features can be traced back to non-Confucian Chinese beliefs established long before Confucius and, in this respect, make it difficult to claim that such rituals make Confucianism a religion.
Generally speaking, Confucianism is not considered a religion by Chinese or other East Asian people. Part of this attitude may be explained by the stigma placed on many "religions" as being superstitious, illogical, or unable to deal with modernity. Many Buddhists state that Buddhism is not a religion, but a philosophy, and this is partially a reaction to negative popular views of religion. Similarly, Confucians maintain that Confucianism is not a religion, but rather a moral code or philosophic world view. Many "religions" practiced in East Asia such as Buddhism and Taoism can be considered as "not religions. " There is a much more blurred line between religion and philosophy in non-Western thought. Most of the Western distinction is in fact a relatively recent phenomenon resulting from the Enlightenment period unique to Western Europe. Therefore, much of the confusion is primarily due to the conventional Western definition of religion centered around Judeo-Christian-Muslim traditions. Most scholarly, comprehensive definitions of religion account for this cultural difference. Therefore, it could be said that while Confucianism is not a religion by Western standards (even according to Asian adherents), it is a religion in the East Asian sense of the word.
The question of whether Confucianism is a religion, or otherwise, is ultimately a definitional problem. If the definition used is worship of supernatural entities, the answer may be that Confucianism is not a religion. If, on the other hand, a religion is defined as (for example) a belief system that includes moral stances, guides for daily life, systematic views of humanity and its place in the universe, etc. , then Confucianism most definitely qualifies. As with many such important concepts, the definition of religion is quite contentious. Herbert Fingarette's Confucius: The Secular as Sacred is a well-known treatment of this issue.
Several names for Confucianism exist in Chinese.
Three of these four use the Chinese character Rú, meaning "scholar". Pinyin, more formally Hanyu pinyin, is the most common Standard Mandarin Romanization system in use Pinyin, more formally Hanyu pinyin, is the most common Standard Mandarin Romanization system in use Pinyin, more formally Hanyu pinyin, is the most common Standard Mandarin Romanization system in use Pinyin, more formally Hanyu pinyin, is the most common Standard Mandarin Romanization system in use These names do not use the name "Confucius" at all, but instead center on the figure/ideal of the Confucian scholar. However, the suffixes of jiā, jiào, and xué carry different implications as to the nature of Confucianism itself.
Rújiā contains the character jiā, which literally means "house" or "family". In this context, it is more readily construed as meaning "school of thought", since it is also used to construct the names of philosophical schools contemporary to Confucianism: for example, the Chinese names for Legalism and Mohism end in jiā. In Chinese history, Legalism ( was one of the four main philosophic schools during the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States Period (the other Mohism or Moism ( was a Chinese philosophy developed by the followers of Mozi (also referred to as Mo Di 470 &ndashc
Rújiào and Kǒngjiào contain the Chinese character jiào, the noun "teach", used in such as terms as "education" or "educator". The term, however, is notably used to construct the names of religions in Chinese: the terms for Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Shintō and other religions in Chinese all end with jiào. A religion is a set of Tenets and practices often centered upon specific Supernatural and moral claims about Reality, the Cosmos For other meanings including people named 'Islam' see Islam (disambiguation. Judaism (from the Greek Ioudaïsmos, derived from the Hebrew יהודה Yehudah, " Judah " in Hebrew יַהֲדוּת Yahedut Christianity ( Greek Χριστιανισμός from the word Xριστός ( Christ)is a monotheistic Religion centered on the life and teachings is the native religion of Japan and was once its State religion. A religion is a set of Tenets and practices often centered upon specific Supernatural and moral claims about Reality, the Cosmos
Rúxué contains xué, meaning literally "study". The term is parallel to "-ology" in English, being used to construct the names of academic fields: the Chinese names of fields such as physics, chemistry, biology, political science, economics, and sociology all end in xué. Physics (Greek Physis - φύσις in everyday terms is the Science of Matter and its motion. Chemistry (from Egyptian kēme (chem meaning "earth") is the Science concerned with the composition structure and properties Foundations of modern biology There are five unifying principles Political science is a branch of Social sciences that deals with the theory and practice of Politics and the description and analysis of Political systems Economics is the social science that studies the production distribution, and consumption of goods and services. Sociology (from Latin: socius "companion" and the suffix -ology "the study of" from Greek λόγος lógos "knowledge"
Examples of Ritual - from Book 10 of Analects
Taoist addition within the Analects