Confucius - Confucianism General Introduction Started in...

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Confucianism General Introduction Started in 6 th century BC Official philosophy for China until 1911 Does not need to be exclusive, can belong to Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism Very tolerant religion Main goal is to establish peace Historical Background Shang Dynasty (1500-1125 BC) Chinese religious ideas are founded Zhou Dynasty (1125-221 BC) Ethical ideas evolve Confucius and Tzu both part of School of 100 Sages Emphases on morality and good actions About Confucius Founder Born in 551 BC in China Given name meant small hill Poor family growing up Travelled for 13 years teaching ethical principles Known as the first teacher of China Sacred Texts Five Classics (Wu Jung) Authoritative sources of earlier Chinese thoughts and traditions Confucius wrote commentary on them Developed his own philosophies based on the classics Four Books (Si Shu) Has the teachings of Confucius and others Analects (Lun Yu) is the most important (translates to things gathered) Has sayings and discourses of Confucius Most widely read of all classics
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About social order and observing correct manners East Asian context of an important concept – lightness (good light energy) and dark energy In the west we try to light stuff up, in Asian religions it is a shock to discover that life is a balance of light and dark The dark side is not evil, it is kind of virtuous. Supposed to act well in front of people. Nature is not necessarily a happy place. It has its nasty sides as well. In east Asian cultures, it is not separate. Everything is together, all is one. When Confucius writes, he just confirms god’s existence, not specifically about god. Confucius tries to create a harmonious society. It is like a well tuned instrument, it works together perfectly. No concept of ego, but Confucius started with the principle that to make this work, it has to be at least two people who work harmoniously. When we look at these we look at the concept that it takes more than one, someone giving and someone receiving, mutually. There has to be the idea that morality is only in the group.
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This note was uploaded on 04/20/2008 for the course RELIGOUS S 130 taught by Professor Aces during the Spring '08 term at UWO.

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Confucius - Confucianism General Introduction Started in...

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