Confucianism & Filial Virtue

Topics: Confucianism, Confucius, Han Dynasty Pages: 6 (2317 words) Published: May 11, 2014

Confucianism and filial virtue

Confucianism is a complex philosophy invented by Confucius during the 5th century BCE, which includes social, moral, philosophical, political and religious thoughts that dominated the culture of East Asia. Confucianism does not advocate specific religious practices or rituals in its teachings but teaches the people to adopt ethics behaviors to live in harmony. The most important of its virtues is probably the filial virtue that characterizes, still nowadays, the Chinese culture and the main differences between Asia’s people behaviors and the rest of the world. “The Confucian Project is learning to be human; it is not accepting fate. It is the recognition of primordial ties and the recognition that these ties can be transforming.” -Tu Wei-Ming

Confucius (孔夫子 Kǒng Fūzǐ, or K'ung-fu-tzu “Master Kong”) was a Chinese great thinker, teacher, editor, politician, and philosopher of the Spring and Autumn period. He was born in the state of Lu (Shantung Province), he gained mastery in the six arts of music, ritual, calligraphy, charioteering, arithmetic and archery. Equipped with a good knowledge of classical poetry and history, he began teaching in his thirties. Confucius did not intend to found a new religion, but to interpret and revive the legalistic religion of the Zhou dynasty, under which many people thought the ancient system of religious rule was bankrupt. That is why Confucius could create this new ideology, just after the collapse of the Zhou dynasty, against the legalistic mind set of his day and to go with the end the slavery system to make a more harmonious and humane society.

Confucianism finds its origin in China but has spread widely to Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Macao and Vietnam. Territories such as Singapore that have a huge number of Chinese people also predominantly follow Confucianism. In fact, Confucianism is recorded to have nearly 1.5 billion followers all over the world. The people who believe in the teachings of Confucius generally follow the Chinese traditional religion, which is a blend of Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism and the local beliefs and practices. Strictly speaking, there is no term in Chinese that directly corresponds to "Confucianism." In the Chinese language, the character Rú 儒 meaning "scholar," is generally used both in the past and the present to refer to things related to Confucianism. Several different terms are used in different situations: "School of the scholars" (儒家; pinyin: Rújiā)

"Teaching of the scholars" (儒教; pinyin: Rújiào)
"Study of the scholars" (儒学 pinyin: Rúxué)
"Teaching of Confucius" (孔教; pinyin: Kǒngjiào)
"Kong Family's Business" (孔家店; pinyin: Kǒngjiādiàn)

Historically, Confucianism emerged during the Spring & Autumn period (771-476 BC) following the official abandonment of Legalism in China after the Qin Dynasty; Confucianism became the official state ideology of the Han. From that time the imperial state promoted Confucian values to maintain law, order, and the status quo. Then Confucian revival began during the Tang dynasty. In the late Tang, Confucianism absorbed some aspects of Buddhism and Daoism and was reformulated as (Neo-Confucianism). This reinvigorated form was adopted as the basis of the imperial exams and the core philosophy of the scholar official class in the Song dynasty.

The abolition of the examination system in 1905 marked the end of official Confucianism. The New Culture intellectuals of the early twentieth century blamed Confucianism for China's weaknesses and later it was hardly criticized by president Mao. They searched for imported doctrines to adapt to the general nature of their own culture, such adaptations include the "Three Principles of the People" with the establishment of the Republic of China, and then Communism under the People's Republic of China. In the late twentieth century, some people credited Confucianism with the rise of the East Asian economy and it enjoyed a rise in...
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