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Lecture 5

RELG 253 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Benevolent Dictatorship, Social Relation, Sympathetic Resonance

Religious Studies
Course Code
RELG 253
Victor S?gen Hori

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Historical Background
3 dynasties
Introduction to Confucius
551-479 BCE
Confucius's life
Constant war, breakdown of feudal order
Generals would tell their soldiers to charge, but the "soldiers" would just drop their
weapons and run away
No conception of loyalty to an emperor/king/sovereign
Weakening of class structure and rise of specialist (shi)
Prowess on the battle field is very important
Social status doesn't matter at that point
If you're knowledge is useful for the ruler and gives him advantages against his
enemy, then you can go up social classes
Advance in military technology
Long spear with a knife blade at a 90 degree angle at the end
To put ladders against walls of cities
The Hundred Schools
Yin-yang School
Term applied later in history
Qiu Kong Fuzi
Qiu = first name as a child
Kong = family name
Fuzi = teacher
His name was latinized by jesuits
Born in state of Lu
Today, his home is a tourist site
Descendent of royal house of Sung (Zhou)
Sung was a state
Said to have been a father orphan
Married at 19, Keeper of Grains
aka, supervisor of the chief house
Not certain what official post he had
Because of his duties, it is said he had to execute a person

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Teacher of ru,
Study of Zhou text and ritual
His teaching of Confucianism was hidden by his teaching of ru
Travels for 13 years with disciples
Returned to Lu at age 68
Also death of son and of two disciples
Death in 479 BCE
Images of Confucius
The Rational Humanist
No theology in his teachings
Ideal religion for critiques of Christianism
Symbol of everything that was old
Marxist revolution was dedicated to stating out the old; enemy of Chinese culture
Represented everything that was wrong about China
Confucian Analects
Words of Confucius as remembered by his disciples
Several authors
Cannot identify who they are
Explains the fragmented nature of the book
Sort of biased
The disciples of the disciples wrote versions too
They would put more emphasis on their teacher, more than on the other disciples
aka Goodness, human-heartedness, humanity, benevolence, love
Human nature is social, not individual
The pictogram is a mix of the pictogram for "human" and "social"
Human nature is defined in moral terms
Though innate, it still has to be cultivated
Moral quality
Ren and Li
Li is rituals and ceremonies
You can become Ren only by completing Li
Wide senses of rituals
Many daily activities too
e.g. Saying hello to people in the morning at work; different ways of
doing so in different countries
Found in various schools of thoughts in China
Different interpretations in each though
Means, road/path/way
Fundamental principles
Ideal social order
Metaphysical reality
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