Chinese religions.doc

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Henry Shiu

Keshavi R. Pandya Key Terms for the Lecture on East Asian Religions: Heaven- -Heaven regulates the world and the moral order. -The world originated from the Heaven principle. - Humans had their genesis from the Heaven and Earth principle -Ancestor veneration. Human -To observe official and ancestor rites -Honor parents and fulfill familial obligations -Function within the state regulated rules and values -Exercising benevolence and mutuality with others Earth Confucianism - The philosophical ideas that the west calls Confucianism did not originate with Kongzi(Confucius). They ca be found in the 5 classics 1)Yijing 2)Shujing 3)Shijung 4)Liji and 5)chunqiu there was a 6th one (yueji) but it is now lost. Some of these works came before the Confucius. He spoke of himself as a transmitter of the tradition. Confucius / Kong Tzu Confucius is known as the first of China's three classical philosophers the other two are Mencius and Xunzi. He considered himself the transmitter of the religion rather than the innovator. The Analects is the single and most important teaching of the Confucius. Keshavi R. Pandya SIGNIFICANCE -The Confucius used ren(Humanness or goodness) to capture virtues of respect etc(See REN). -Above all, he emphasized the practice of filial piety or devotion. In other words, the Confucius guided the followers in becoming virtuous and good human beings over all by teaching the importance of relationships and goodness. (pg 266-267) Taoism (Daoism) - philosophical system developed by Laozi and Zhungzi advocating a simple honest life and noninterference with the course of natural events(Definition) -Talks about the roots of tradition and the relationship between the two historical branches Philosophic Daoism and Religious Daosim. 1)Philosophical Daoism- This has two main sources first is Classic of the Way of Power(Daodejing) which is a text typically attributed to Laozi and second is Zhungzi, named for the thinker whose idea it purportedly represents. 2)Religious Daoism- associated with colourful rituals; belief in deities, ghosts, and spirits and the pursuit of immortality. (More info pg 294-300) Oracle bones- Shamans -medicine man, soul doctor, witch doctor, a kind of preist. SIGNIFICANCE -Perform hunting rituals to ensure a successful hunt or appease the spirits. Keshavi R. Pandya - Shamans can communicate with the spirit world by either their leaving their body and traveling to the realm where the sprits live or the shaman can call the spirit into his/her body. Analects (Lunyu) – Single most important source of the Confucius’ teachings on strategies. -conversations of the Confucius with his disciples - The Confucius had nothing literally to do with the analects. SIGNIFICANCE - Since Confucius' time, the Analects has heavily influenced the philosophy and moral values of China and later other East Asian countries as well. - it taught the basic Confucian values including propriety, righteousness, loyalty and filial piety, all centered about the central thought of Confucius – humanity Ren - The central Confucian virtue, translated as ‘humaneness’. Goodness, benevolence, humanity, human-heartedness to capture the virtues of respect, liberality, trustworthiness, earnestness and kindness. The most effective way to cultivate ren was through careful observance if the ‘rites’ by which he meant not only religious rituals but also the rules of social etiquette and everyday courtesy. Mencius -is
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