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Confucianism


The commander of the forces of a large state may be carried off, but the will of even a common man cannot be taken from him.
-- Confucian Analects

Confucian Texts:
Holy Confucian Analects
Analects, or Analects of Confucius, written in twenty chapters, is thought to be a composition of the late Spring and Autumn Period. It is undoubtedly the most influential text in East Asian intellectual history, collecting maxims and short discussions between Confucius and his disciples. Many of them take sense in an historically well-defined context. It is within this work that most of the basic framework regarding Confucian values such as humaneness, righteousness, filial piety, and propriety is uncovered.
Intro taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analects
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Holy Mencius
Mencius' interpretation of Confucianism has generally been considered the orthodox version by subsequent Chinese philosophers, especially the Neo-Confucians of the Song dynasty. Mencius (also spelled Mengzi or Meng-tzu), a book of his conversations with kings of the time, is one of the Four books which form the core of orthodox Confucian thinking. In contrast to the sayings of Confucius which are short and self-contained, Mencius consists of long dialogues with extensive prose.
Intro taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mencius
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Doctrine of the Mean
The Doctrine of the Mean is one of the Four Books, part of the confucean canonical scriptures. Like the Great Learning, it is now part of the Records of Rites. It is said to be a composition by Confucius' grandson Kong Ji, called Zisi. The purpose of this small 23 chapter book is to demonstrate the usefulness of a golden way to gain perfect virtue. If focuses on the "way" (dao) that is prescribed by a heavenly mandate not only to the ruler but to everyone.
Intro taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctrine_of_the_Mean
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The Great Learning
The Great Learning is the first of the Four books which were selected by Zhu Xi in the Song Dynasty as a foundational introduction to Confucianism. It was originally one chapter in Li Ji (the Classic of Rites). The book consists of a short main text, attributed to Confucius and nine commentaries chapters by Zeng Zi, one of Confucius' disciples. Its importance is illustrated by Zeng Zi's foreward that this is the gateway of learning. The Great Learning is significant because it expresses many themes of Chinese philosophy and political thinking has therefore been extremely influential both in classical and modern Chinese thought
Intro taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Learning
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About Confucianism:

Scholarly tradition and way of life propagated by Confucius in the 6th-5th century BC and followed by the Chinese for more than two millennia.

Though not organized as a religion, it has deeply influenced East Asian spiritual and political life in a comparable manner. The core idea is ren ("humaneness," "benevolence"), signifying excellent character in accord with li (ritual norms), zhong (loyalty to one's true nature), shu (reciprocity), and xiao (filial piety). Together these constitute de (virtue).

Mencius, Xunzi, and others sustained Confucianism, but it was not influential until Dong Zhongshu emerged in the 2nd century BC. Confucianism was then recognized as the Han state cult, and the Five Classics became the core of education. In spite of the influence of Taoism and Buddhism, Confucian ethics have had the strongest influence on the moral fabric of Chinese society.

A revival of Confucian thought in the 11th century resulted in Neo-Confucianism, a major influence in Korea during the Choson dynasty and in Japan during the Edo period.
Taken from http://education.yahoo.com/search/be?p=confucianism
Important Persons:

Confucius

Confucius (traditionally 551 BCE–479 BCE) was a famous thinker and social philosopher of China, whose teachings have deeply influenced East Asia for centuries.

Living in the Spring and Autumn period (a time when feudal states fought against each other), he was convinced of his ability to restore the world's order, and failed. After much travelling around China to promote his ideas among rulers, he eventually became involved in teaching disciples.

His philosophy emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, and justice and sincerity. These values gained prominence in China after being chosen among other doctrines such as Legalism or Taoism during the Han dynasty. Used since then as the imperial orthodoxy, Confucius' thoughts have been developed into a vast and complete philosophical system known in the west as Confucianism.
Taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confucius

Mencius

Mencius (most accepted dates: 372–289 BCE; other possible dates: 385–BC/302 BCE), also known by his birth name Meng Ke or Ko, was born in the State of Zou, now forming the territory of the county-level city of Zoucheng, Shandong province, only thirty kilometres (eighteen miles) south of Qufu, Confucius' birthplace.

He was an itinerant Chinese philosopher and sage, and one of the principal interpreters of Confucianism. Like Confucius, according to legend, he travelled China for forty years to offer advice to rulers for reform.
Taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confucius
Confucianism Symbol:

The water symbol - Though this worldview [confucianism] is recognized as one of the eleven main living religions, it has no standard symbol or icon representing its belief system. Quite often, though, this Chinese ideogram for water is utilized. It represents the 'source of life' in Chinese philosophy.
Taken from http://www.thetruelight.net/religions/confucianism.htm




 
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