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Confucianism: Historical Development

Page history last edited by Brock Baker 12 years, 3 months ago

 

Confucianism: Historical Development

 

 

 

The Historical Development and Cultural Impact:

 

Confucianism does not obtain all the elements of some other religions like Christianity and Islam.  It is primarily an ethical system to which rituals at important times during one’s lifetime have been added. Confucianism is the practice of worshipping one’s ancestors partly explains the strength of the family in Chinese culture.  From the earliest stages, Chinese civilization seemed to center around the family unit.  Head of the family was all but supreme ruler of his living family.  The sense of family though, was broadened to include not only present members, but also the dead as well as future generation.  Arguable, this concept of family encouraged the conservation of traditions and sense of continuity.

 

Since the times of Han dynasty (206CE) four life passages have been recognized and regulated by Confucian tradition.

 

Birth

Reaching maturity

Marriage

Death

 

There are approximately 6 million Confucians in the world today.  About 26,000 live in North America; almost all of the remainder is found in China and the rest of Asia.

 

There are six schools of Confucianism:

Han Confucianism, Neo Confucianism, Korean Confucianism, Japanese and Singapore Confucianism.

 

Some consider it to be the state religion of East Asian countries because of governmental promotion of Confucian values.  In China, followers honor the Gautama Buddha.  In Hong Kong, the major festival of Confucianism is the birthday of Confucius, which falls on the 27th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar.

 

Today, Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism are one.  Chinese religions are family oriented unlike western religions.  Chinese people may visit the Buddhist temples while living in accordance to Taoist principals and participated in local ancestor rituals.  To cite Rodney L. Taylor, “There is little doubt that Buddhism and Neo-Confucianism are deeply influenced by each other and that level of practice methods of various sources are tried, borrowed and interrelated.” In other words, the questions of who should be called religion or religions in China and what religion or religions should be called are still up for debate.

 

Promotion of Corruption:

 

Like some other political philosophies, Confucianism is reluctant to employ laws.  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.  As government officer’s salary was far lower than the minimum required to raise a family, Chinese society was frequently affected by those problems.  Even is some means stop control and reduce corruption and nepotism have been successfully used in China, Confucianism is criticized for not providing such a means itself.

 

 Wikipedia. WikiAnswers. 2008. 12 09. 2008 http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_are_the_beliefs_of_Confucianism

 


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Comments (1)

Natalie said

at 10:44 am on Sep 25, 2008

hey matt
umm, i'm a little confused just because when i was looking at symbols and icons, the impression i got was that people followed and "worshiped" Confucius' teachings not their ancestors, just something you might wanna check out.

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