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Intro to Chinese Religions Lecture

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HUMA 1865
Aviva Goldberg

CHINESE RELIGIONS Emperor of China - considered son of Heaven (intermediary between Heaven and humans) - considered political actor and agent - syncretism and/or co-existence of different belief systems - one need not choose sides and cheer for a single team” - confucious: - aka kong fuzi (masterkong) - more commonly known as Kongzi or Kong Qiu - 551-479 BCE - china at the time was at war, and was futile state - confucious didn’t write anything, he considered himself a teacher foremost but his disciples wrote for him - KEY TERMS - - confucious: talked about levels of character - 1 shengren – sage (highest ideal character: confucious claimed neither to be a sage himself nor to have met one) - 2 shanren – good man (confucious claimed to not have met a good man terms seems to apply to men in government) - 3 Junzi – gentleman (for confucious, Junzi is an ideal moral character; discuseed in many chapters of the Analects) moral person, superior character (spiritually and morally) - 4 Xianoren – small person (petty person: concerned primarily with profit - 5 Min – common people (considered people who served for the upper classes) VIRTUES/PRECEPTS - Ren – Humanity (referring to love people) - humankind-ness vs human-kindness (being human vs being kind) - Zhengming – rectification of names (duties, obligations, family, etc) - Li – ritual, decorum, etiquette, good manners - ritual needs to be carried with sincerity - Xiao – filial piety (respective honor for one’s parents) - Ti – respect for one’s older brother - Tian – Heaven (very vague, undifferentiated “thing”, spirits/deities are neither affirmed or denied…there is so much work to be done in “earth” that we shouldn’t even touch upon the after) - Dao – the ultimate/the Way (its not how much you live, not how you party/acquire wealth, etc, its about HOW you live…highest level of moral enlightenment…this is the Dao) Mencius: - Mengzi (372 -389 BCE) - The Mencius/Mengzi - Whereas confucious never explained explicity, Mencius explained it …human nature is good (even during the chaotic times of China BC FOUR BEGINNINGS: FOUR VIRTUES 1. commiseration Ren 2. Shame and Dislike  Yi 3. Modesty, courtesy  Li 4. Right & Wrong 
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