DSST World Religion Notes

Chinas feudal system led to a period of instability

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China’s Feudal system led to a period of instability, out of this tumultuous time came Confucianism Analects – most authentic material about Confucius – is a collection of Confucians discourses with his disciples, collected 70 years after his death Five Classics – collection of books – cover widely divergent genres and address a range of concerns in Confucius’s day 1. Poetry (Odes) 2. History (Shujing) 3. Rites 4. Changes (Yijing) 5. spring and autumn annals (Chunqiu) Four books: 6. Great Learning 7. Doctrine of Mean 8. The Analects 9. Mencius I-Ching – one of the Five Classics - ancient and sacred divination manual contributed to sages, centers upon short oracles arranged under 64 different hexagrams, over the years metaphysical and cosmological ideas such as Yin-Yang were added Spring-Autumn Annals - Confucius was speculated to have authored, chronicle of the political and moral decline of Wu (Confucius’s native state) scholars no longer think Confucius authored them Virtue of Jen – Translated as “goodness” or “humaneness” inward expression (all should seek to develop it to become a superior human being) Li – Translated as both “propriety” and “ritual” – has more to do with ones outward social behavior, ideal that one should strive to perfect relationships with others. Particularly in the Five Relationships Confucius describes Five relationships – the practice of Li the principal relationships in society can regulate harmony in home, village and empire 1. Ruler and subject 2. Father and son 3. Older Brother and younger Brother 4. Husband and wife 5. Friend and Friend Confucianism is more of an Ethical system than the typical religion; Confucianism does not teach the worship of gods, instead a code of conduct teaching love and kindness of fellow man Universal Virtues of Confucianism: Wisdom, Benevolence and Fortitude Ritual Religion – Confucianism relies heavily upon ritual Inner Disposition – “called jen” Te – refers to the Confucian ideal of government by virtue – perfection of the ruler’s virtuous ideals such as li and jen Ancestral Cult – ritual sacrifice demonstrates the Confucian ideals of respect for elders and respect for the past, so important could be own religion, Dual Soul when one dies the lower or animal soul called Po – lower descends with the body to the grave, the upper intellectual soul called Hun – ascends to the world above Mencius – born in 372 BC the second most important Chinese sage after Confucius and most important Confucius’s interpreters. Mencius is best known for reinforcing Confucius’ ideas also added his own distinctive ideas to the canon Mencius asserted that human nature was good, only reason not good is of environment Heaven not a place in Confucianism, a higher power, order and law and the annual sacrifices to it most important, Heaven not a personal deity but present in ones heart Mandate of Heaven (Mencius) ruler as mediator between powers of Heaven and people below
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Chinas Feudal system led to a period of instability out of...

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