Kelsey Sullivan and Lauren Evans
Background on Confucianism
Confucianism was founded by Confucius (Kong Fuzi). Confucianism originally was founded in China, which is why many of their traditions are Chinese. This religion is about 1000 to 5000 years old. Mencius and Xunizu are some other important people in the religion of Confucianism. They helped spread Confucius' wisdom after his death and were almost like co-founders to the religion. Another important figure to the upbringing of Confucianism was Emperor Ming of the 16th century. He rebuilt the Confucian gatherings to be more oriented to what Confucius had been teaching regarding working on human nature.
They believe in being loving, gentle, and kind people. The main teachings of Confucius was to delevop individual morals in each of his followers, showing them the importance of ruling with respect rather than with forceful and imtiditating laws.
Confucianists do believe in an afterlife, and rather than live their lives based on fear of punishment or on hopes of salvation after death, they live everyday trying to build better and more ideal social relations.
Confucian teachings include these values: Li: includes ritual, propriety, etiquette Hsiao: is all about love within the family and the love of parents for their children and of children for their parents Yi: is focused on righteousness Xin: is focused on honesty and trustworthiness Jen: teaches kindness and humaneness towards others.
The highest Confucian virtue is Chung: which is loyalty to the state.
Important Dates and Holidays
One holiday they celebrate is Confucius' birthday. They call this holiday 'Teachers Day' because it honors not only Confucius, but teachers as well. It is celebrated on September 28th, and can be as extravagant as a ceremonies at the temple, or as simple as taking time out of the day to meditate on the teachings of Confucius.
The Ching Ming Festival fall on either April 4th or 5th and is a day for honoring ancestor by visiting their grave. Besides leaving offerings on their graves, the ceremony is used to teach children about their ancestors.
The Qufu International Confucius Festival is held from September 26 to October 10. It is held in Qufu, Shandong Province, which is Confucius' hometown. It is a grand ceremony to honor Confucius with performances at the Temple of Confucius. There are also presentations at the Cemetery of Confucius.
Who is Confucius?
Confucius was on September 28th 551 BCE. His father was a military officer and died when he was 3. Even though his family was poor, Confucius still received a good education. He got married at 19 to Qi Guan and their first child's name was Kong Li. He became a teacher at 24. He became a judge for the state of Lu when he was 50 and created laws based in his own personal teachings. When he was a judge crime lowered drastically. However, he was eliminated from being a judge in 496 BCE because of rival jealousy. He died on November 21st 479 BCE at the age of 67.
Is it monotheistic or polytheistic?
Neo-Confucianism is the only branch for Confucianism. It's a combination of Buddhism and Daoism with traditional Confucianism.
Confucianism is a philosophical practice as well as a religion, depending on who you ask. In some East Asian countries it is viewed as a religion by the government promoting some of its beliefs.
Confucianism also differs from other religions because it is not an organized religion.
"In teaching, there should be no distinction of classes." (Analects XV, 39) This is an important excerpt from one of the sacred books they study. Whether you were rich or poor or somewhere in between, anyone could practice and teach Confucianism. They believed everyone should have the oppertunity to receive an education.
Confucianism was instrumental in shaping Chinese moral thought and social relationships.