Confucianism was part of the Chinese social fabric and way of life; to Confucians, everyday life was the arena of religion. His followers competed successfully with many other schools during the Hundred Schools of Thought era only to be suppressed in favor of the Legalists during the Qin dynasty .
Variously described as tradition, a philosophy, a religion, a humanistic or rationalistic religion, a way of governing, or simply a way of life, Confucianism developed from what was later called the Hundred Schools of Thought from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius (551–479 BCE).
- 儒家, 儒, 儒教
- "ru school of thought"
- Nho giáo
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In the Analects (論語), Confucius presents himself as a "transmitter who invented nothing". He puts the greatest emphasis on the importance of study, and it is the Chinese character for study (or learning) that opens the text. In this respect, he is seen by Chinese people as the Greatest Master. Far from trying to build a systematic theory of life and society or establish a formalism of rites, he wanted his disciples to think deeply for themselves and relentlessly study the outside world, mostly through the old scriptures and by relating the moral problems of the present to past political events (like the Annals) or past expressions of feelings by common people and reflective members of the elite, preserved in the poems of the Book of Odes(詩經). In times of division, chaos, and endless wars between feudal states, he wanted to restore the Mandate of Heaven (天命) that could unify the "world" (天下, all under Heaven) and bestow peace and prosperity on the people. Because his vision of person...Michele Ruggieri, and other Jesuits after him, while translating Chinese books into Western languages, translated 孔夫子 as Confucius. This Latinised form has since been commonly used in Western count...In systematic Romanisations:
Although Confucianism is often followed in a religious manner by the Chinese, arguments continue over whether it is a religion. Confucianism does not lack an afterlife, the texts express simple views concerning Heaven, and is relatively unconcerned with some spiritual matters often considered essential to religious thought, such as the nature of the soul. Confucius' principles gained wide acceptance primarily because of their basis in common Chinese tradition and belief. He championed strong familial loyalty, ancestor worship, respect of elders by their children (and, according to later interpreters, of husbands by their wives), and the family as a basis for an ideal government. He expressed the well-known principle, "Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself" (One of the earliest versions of The Golden Rule). He also looked nostalgically upon earlier days, and urged the Chinese, particularly those with political power, to model themselves on earlier examples. Becaus...
The Confucian theory of ethics as exemplified in Lǐ (禮) is based on three important conceptual aspects of life: ceremonies associated with sacrifice to ancestors and deities of various types, social and political institutions, and the etiquette of daily behavior. It was believed by some that lǐ originated from the heavens. Confucius's view was more nuanced. His approach stressed the development of lǐ through the actions of sage leaders in human history, with less emphasis on its connection with heaven. His discussions of lǐ seem to redefine the term to refer to all actions committed by a person to build the ideal society, rather than those simply conforming with canonical standards of ceremony. In the early Confucian tradition, lǐ, though still linked to traditional forms of action, came to point towards the balance between maintaining these norms so as to perpetuate an ethical social fabric, and violating them in order to accomplish ethical good. These concepts are about doing the...
Confucius' political thought is based upon his ethical thought. He argues that the best government is one that rules through "rites" (lǐ) and people's natural morality, rather than by using bribery and coercion. He explained that this is one of the most important analects: 1. "If the people be led by laws, and uniformity sought to be given them by punishments, they will try to avoid the punishment, but have no sense of shame. If they be led by virtue, and uniformity sought to be given them by the rules of propriety, they will have the sense of the shame, and moreover will become good." (Translated by James Legge) in the Great Learning (大學). This "sense of shame" is an internalisation of duty, where the punishment precedes the evil action, instead of following it in the form of laws as in Legalism. While he supported the idea of government by an all-powerful sage, ruling as an Emperor, probably because of the chaotic state of China at his time, his ideas contained a number of element...
Confucius' disciples and his only grandson, Zisi, continued his philosophical school after his death. These efforts spread Confucian ideals to students who then became officials in many of the royal courts in China, thereby giving Confucianism the first wide-scale test of its dogma. While relying heavily on Confucius' ethico-political system, two of his most famous later followers emphasized radically different aspects of his teachings. Mencius (4th century BCE) articulated the innate goodness in human beings as a source of the ethical intuitions that guide people towards rén, yì, and lǐ, while Xun Zi (3rd century BCE) underscored the realistic and materialistic aspects of Confucian thought, stressing that morality was inculcated in society through tradition and in individuals through training. This realignment in Confucian thought was parallel to the development of Legalism, which saw filial piety as self-interest and not a useful tool for a ruler to create an effective state. A di...
The Chinese have a tradition of holding spectacular memorial ceremonies of Confucius (祭孔) every year, using ceremonies that supposedly derived from Zhou Li (周禮) as recorded by Confucius, on the date of Confucius' birth. This tradition was interrupted for several decades in mainland China, where the official stance of the Communist Party and the State was that Confucius and Confucianism represented reactionary feudalist beliefs where it is held that the subservience of the people to the aristocracy is a part of the natural order. All such ceremonies and rites were therefore banned. Only after the 1990s, did the ceremony resume. As it is now considered a veneration of Chinese history and tradition, even communist party members may be found in attendance. In Taiwan, where the Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) strongly promoted Confucian beliefs in ethics and behavior, the tradition of memorial ceremony of Confucius (祭孔) is supported by the government and has continued without interruption...
Confucius's works, words are studied by many scholars in many other Asian countries, such as Korea, Japan, Vietnam, etc. And many of those countries still hold the traditional memorial ceremony every year. The works of Confucius were translated into European languages through the agency of Jesuit scholars stationed in China. Matteo Ricci started to report on the thoughts of Confucius, and father Prospero Intorcetta published the life and works of Confucius into Latin in 1687. It is thought that such works had considerable importance on European thinkers of the period, particularly among the Deists and other philosophical groups of the Enlightenmentwho were interested by the integration of the system of morality of Confucius into Western civilization. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community believes Confucius was a Divine Prophet of God, as was Lao Tzuand other eminent Chinese personages.
No contemporary painting or sculpture of Confucius survives, and it was apparently only during the Han Dynasty that he was portrayed visually. Carvings often depict his legendary meeting with Laozi. In 2007 a Han dynasty fresco depicting this meeting was found in Dongping County. Since that time there have been many portraits of Confucius as the ideal philosopher. In former times it was customary to have a portrait in Confucius Temples; however, during the reign of Emperor Taizu of the Ming dynasty it was decided that the only proper portrait of Confucius should be in the temple in his hometown, Qufu. In other temples Confucius is represented by a memorial tablet. In 2006 the China Confucius Foundation commissioned a standard portrait of Confucius based on the Tang dynasty portrait by Wu Daozi.
Soon after Confucius' death, Qufu, his hometown in the state of Lu and now in present-day Shandong Province, became a place of devotion and remembrance. It is still a major destination for cultural tourism, and many people visit his grave and the surrounding temples. In pan-China cultures, there are many temples where representations of the Buddha, Lao Tzuand Confucius are found together. There are also many temples dedicated to him, which have been used for Confucianist ceremonies. In November 1966, during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, the Qufu Confucian monuments suffered much damage and 6000 artifacts were destroyed.The area was later restored.
Confucianism. Confucianism is a complex school of thought, sometimes also referred to as a religion, revolving around the principles of the Chinese philosopher Confucius.It was developed in the Spring and Autumn Period during the Zhou Dynasty.
A Life of Confucius. Hwakang Press, Taipei 171. Do-Dinh, Pierre. Confucius and Chinese Humanism. Funk & Wagnalls, New York. 1969. Dubs H, Homer. "The Development of Altruism in Confucianism" Apr. 1951: 48-55 JSTOR Oxford University. Hopfe M, Lewis and Woodward R. Mark. Religions of the World. Pearson Education Inc: Upper Saddle River, New ...
Confucius was born near the end of an era known in Chinese history as the Spring and Autumn Period (770–481 BCE). His home was in Lu, a regional state of eastern China in what is now central and southwestern Shandong province.
Confucianism is not an organized religion, but it does provide rules for thinking and living that focus on love for humanity, worship of ancestors, respect for elders, self-discipline and...
Religion is the substance, the ground, and the depth of man's spiritual life." When religion is seen in terms of sacred, divine, intensive valuing, or ultimate concern, then it is possible to understand why scientific findings and philosophical criticisms (e.g., those made by Richard Dawkins) do not necessarily disturb its adherents. Aspects
Confucianism, the way of life propagated by Confucius in the 6th–5th century bce and followed by the Chinese people for more than two millennia. Although transformed over time, it is still the substance of learning, the source of values, and the social code of the Chinese.