RLG100Y1 Lecture Notes - Religion In China

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23 Mar 2011
World Religions
Reading: Ch. 9 “Chinese Religions,” pp. 467-498
March 21
, 2011.
Premises of Confucianism
Confusion ideals have certain observations about the way the world works and has
certain recommendations about the way human beings should be in the world
Confucianism identifies the cosmic order ad being composed of 3 ideal: triad of
earth below and we the human being in the middle
Human beings much observe relationship b/w heaven and earth and reproduce it
in social/human realm
To observe the way heaven and earth work with each other and draw lessons from
that primary relationship for how to modal a human order based on the way
heaven and earth work with each other
3 major observations that Confucianism make about relationship b/w heaven and
1.Relationship is fundamentally fertile
Relationship continually brings new life into being, nurtures and sustains life,
br ings it to completion
Enables it to evolve in an optimal fashion – life giving, life suppor tive
2.Everything in life is relational
Nothing comes into being in isolation of other things, the creative and nurtur ing
process depend on the coming together of two different elements in a relationship
Relationship of different elements thats creative, nur turing, life aff irming
3.Relationship is fundamentally harmonious
The cosmic order works in an orderly fashion in which harmony prevails rather
than conf lict and this is rendered as a kind of polite deference of one element to
Primary observation get sense of reverence and deep appreciation for the
experience of life being passed from one generation to next generation
Idea that life is passed from parents to children to grandchildren, etc is awe
inspiriting in this chain of being, that lineage, tradition
Confucianism has high value for life and birth, as the greatest gift of all is gift of
life form ones parents therefore one owes an attitude of deep respect because
birth brings one into the continuum of life and enables them to be connected to
multiple generations
Worship attitude in way we interact with parents, grandparents for having deep
reverence – Filial Piety
Family is the nexus of this life giving ability
Family tremendously important in Confucianism as being the custodian of the
chain of life – family has sacredness
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