Confucianism Overview

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Department
Religion
Course
RLG100Y1
Professor
Andre Maintenay
Semester
Winter

Description
CONFUCIANISM ORIGINS Confucius and his school offered an ethical answer to questions regarding lifes meaning and order in society. Highest position he commanded was of a police comissioner and he quit in response to the corruption in the civil service and then spent his time going from village to village recruiting younge men as potential civil servants. His principles eventually became the basis of Chinas formal civil service system. Most important of the principles is the rectification of names: expressed in 8 cryptic words: ruler ruler, minister, minister, father, father, son, son which means that names should represent realities and the person appointed to a position should live up to his title. people should be recruited on the basis of merit not money, irrespective of social class. Select from the brightest and most ethical. Meant appointing people on the basis of training and talent rather than connections. Aristocracy of merit rather than aristocracy of money. This was not accepted at the time because many families bribed people to get their sons jobs but eventually was accepted. Kong (Confucius) did not record write down his teaching. After his death his followers recalled their sessions with him and whatever they knew about his encounters and collected them in a book called the Analects of Confucius, which reveal a great teacher who used a question and answer approach. The analects show the human side of Confucius. He did not develop any systematic doctrinal structure with separate categories for morals, ethics, rituals, law etc. his teaching were systemized after his death by his follower Mencius and Xuni. Kong saw Tian as representing a personal god and a higher power, order and law that displaced many ancestral gods. Saw that people, especially rulers should obey Heaven. Laid the groundwork for a social revolution. Not a Marxist type of reveloution, but radical at the same. Because of his preference of education and philosophy became accepted across China, that started respecting scholars above all. CRYSALLIZATION The Confucian Virtues Ultimate in the relative: in the moral character of human relationships. Kong taught doctrine of reciprocity and neighbourliness. Never do to others what you would not like them to do to you- became known as the negative Golden Rule of Silver Rule. Confucianism speaks of 5 relationships, each of them comes with a particular set of norms and duties: relationships of: ruler and minister, father and son, husband and wife, elder and younger brother and friend and friend. 3 are family while other 2 are understood in terms of relations within a family. Therefore confucian society regards itself as an extended family. Responsibilities implied by relationship are reciprocal and must show filial respect. But each of the 5 relationships are also hierarchical. Concept of filial piety especially important in Chinese culture since its connected to what is known as the ancestor cult. Filial duty of each new generation to have progeny in order to continue performing rituals for the ancestors so that they might be fed and happy in the afterlife. Also promoted a strong culture of mutual help. Central teaching of confucius is the virtue of ren. In the past ren had been a virtur expected of gentlemen, similar to the concept of noblesse oblige the idea of nobility came with obligations and it was the duty of the superior person to treat his inferiors with generosity and consideration. Confucius transformed ren into a universal virtur, a quality that can kake the human being into a sage. It drewe a social implication: moral merit, not noble birth, should be the criterion for status as a gentleman., www.notesolution.com
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