Confucianism is the philosophy based on the teachings of Confucius (551 BC - 479 BC), who was an important Chinese philosopher. Confucianism has a complete system of moral, social, political, and religious thought, and has had a large influence on the history of Chinese civilization. Some people think Confucianism should be called a religion but others do not agree.
Confucianism was made to stop the fall of Chinese society. After the Zhou Dynasty fell, people cared only for themselves and did not have any respect for others. Confucianism became a social order for China, teaching that social relationships are the most important. People slowly started to believe in it, because they wanted to have peace, but they had to care for themselves too. As a result, Confucianism brought the people love, harmony, and respect for one another.
Confucianism was started in Ch'u-fu, Confucius's birthplace. Today, Confucianism has spread around the world, but it is still more important in China.
The teachings of Confucius focus largely on the respect of one's parents, elders, and ancestors. He also taught that humans 'can never stop learning'; meaning that knowledge is infinite, therefore we will always learn, never stopping. For example, he once asked a seven-year-old child to be his teacher, because the child knew something that he did not.
Confucianism Beliefs and Teachings
Confucianism teaches 5 virtues.
- Ren (Jen), that refers to altruism and humanity.
- Yi, that refers to righteousness.
- Li, that refers to good conduct.
- Zhi, that refers to knowledge.
- Xin, which means loyalty.
Chinese culture that exists today has its roots in Confucianism. Confucius believed that families are the building blocks of a society, which is why he laid emphasis on Filial Piety, which is known as xiào (孝) in Chinese. Filial Piety means loyalty towards ones family. A Filial son is expected to take care of his parents and go to any extent to make their wishes come true.
The book, Analects, describes the teachings of Confucius and was written by his disciples.
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