Confucianism

By:
Emma (G Period)
Jen (F Period)
Katie (C Period)
Kate (B Period)




Final Copy
Founded by Confucius, Confucianism was a religion as well as a way of life for the citizens of Ancient China. It focused on ethical behavior and still has a substantial influence on China's society today.

Confucius

Confucius was born in Lu, one of China's vassal states, in 551 B.C. He was the founder of Confucianism. Confucius's first occupation was the keeper of
Confucius
Confucius
the Lu Granary, the community grain storehouse. This was a very low class job. Later, when Confucius was about 50 years old, Duke Ding of Lu recognized his talents and appointed him Minister of Public Works and later Minister of Crime. Unfortunately, Confucius offended the members of the Lu nobility who were competing with Duke Ding for power and was kicked off the job. In 484 B.C. Confucius returned to Lu and spent the remainder of his life teaching. He often said that a virtuous man has three awes: awe for heaven's decree, awe for great men, and awe for saint's words. There were six schools of Confucianism: Han Confucianism, Neo-Confucianism, Contemporary Neo-Confucianism, Korean Confucianism, Japanese Confucianism and Singapore Confucianism. Confucius's teachings were strictly ethical, in which one tries to behave correctly so that they will be rewarded in their next life. He claimed he was a "transmitter and not a maker", meaning that he did not come up with the virtues taught in Confucianism, he is simply teaching them to the world. He also said that all he did is reflect his "reliance on and love for the ancients". Confucius believed that a ruler should teach its people with love and concern. This way the people will learn shame and have a sense of virtue. Confucius died of natural causes in 479 BC. His disciples and grandson continued his philosophical school.



Confucian Principles

Confucianism was founded by Confucius, and was a belief, or code, of how to live your life. Confucianism believes in perfecting all humans, and states that harmony occurs when you find your true place in their society. Confucian followers also believe that when infants are first born they are good and pure, and it is their decisions as they get older that change their goodness. There were many principles of Confucianism, but there are three main ones.
Ren
Ren
Ren, the act of possesing virtuous feelings and the inner aspect of one's thoughts is the first of these three principles. Ren also includes being respectful and empathetic towards others, as well as being selfless. The second principle, Yi, encourages individuals to keep the idea of the greater good of humanity in mind. Yi is also about making daily decisions with the focus of selflessness towards others. The last principle is Li. Li is the outer form of conforming. It is the interaction of oneself with nature, objects and people. Overall, Li is about one's code of behavior to certain standards in daily life. Confucianism states that you should live up to these three principles in your daily life and decisions. In addition, followers of Confucianism believe that there are only five important relationships in your life. These relationships are parent and child, ruler and subject, husband and wife, friend and friend, and elder brother and younger brother. Any other relationship is considered unimportant. This suggests that family was very important to Confucius, because three of the relationships are family-based. Also, further evidence that suggests the great importance of ancestors and family is that Confucian followers believe that one achieves success and harmony by following their ancestor's way. This is displayed by the elaborately made Funeral Houses, which further generations create and then burn to honor their relatives and ask for good luck and fortune. Confucianism was a very strong belief, and is still worshipped in some parts of the world today.

Neo-Confucianism
Neo-Confucianism combined Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism, containing aspects from all three religions. However, unlike in Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism, there were no Neo-
Zhu Xi, founder of Neo-Confucianism
Zhu Xi, founder of Neo-Confucianism
Confucian monasteries. Neo-Confucianism was founded during the Song Dynasty by Zhu Xi, who taught at the school of Neo-Confucianism. Zhu Xi gave Confucianism renewed
Yin-Yang Symbol
Yin-Yang Symbol

vigor in the Song and later dynasties. Neo-Confucianism delt with cultivating the mind's inner life and united human relationships and concern for government and society with deepened ascetical practice to form the path to ultimate personal fulfillment. It stated that people were the link between the material and mystical worlds, which were governed by yin and yang. People were believed to be able to connect with the supreme ultimate through self-examination. Neo-Confucianism became an international movement that spread to Korea, Japan, and Vietnam. It flourished in all of these East Asian countries and since the 16th Century some of most creative philosophical work has been achieved in Korea and Japan.

Confucianism Today

Confucianism is much like socialism today in that they both encourage collective interests and comminuty wellfare. However, Confucianism has changed considerably today. One of the main priciples of Confucianism was transmission through public education. Confucianism has now been separated from public education. Its political and religious functions have also decreased quite a bit. Commercialism and revolutions in China have suffocated Confucianism as well. As a result of all the abuse Confucianism has taken, people take the religion less seriously nowadays than when it began. It is rarely used in interfaith dialogue. However, a small circle of scholars continue to study Confucianism seriously. Today, Confucianism is practiced in conjuction with Taoism and Buddhism, soit is often confused with Taoism. Most of the current followers of Confucianism are found in China and Taiwan. Although Confucianism has become much less popular, the essential values of Confucianism have become a way of life for the residents of China.
Statue of Confucius
Statue of Confucius





Sources

http://www.religioustolerance.org/confuciu.htm

http://www.religion-cults.com/Eastern/Confucianism/confuci.htm

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04223b.htm

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/confucius/

http://faculty.washington.edu/mkalton/NeoConfucianism.htm

http://www.crystalinks.com/confucianism.html

www.index-china.com/index-english/Confucius%20and%20Confucianism. html
http://www.confucianstudies.com/Privacy_Policy.html
http://www.travelchinaguide.com/intro/religion/confucianism/

http://www.confucianstudies.com/index.pmg/rd-1/uri-news
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Powerpoint of Confucianism (or interview with Mr.Guditus)
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/350198/Lu
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http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Yin-Yang