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Confucianism

Confucianism Fast Facts

Name Means

Teachings of Confucius, the Latinized form of K'ung-fu-tzu.

Adherents

5-6 million

Place Founded

China

Date Founded

6th-5th cent. BC

Founder(s)

Confucius (551-479 BCE)

Practices

none

Texts

Analects

Symbols

Chinese characters for scholar and water, yin-yang, Confucius images

Confucianism Overview

Confucianism is a way of life taught by Confucius in China in the 6th–5th century BCE. Sometimes viewed as a philosophy, sometimes as a religion, Confucianism is perhaps best understood as an all-encompassing humanism that neither denies nor slights heaven. It has been followed by the Chinese for more than two millennia.

Confucianism has deeply influenced spiritual and political life in China; its influence has also extended to Korea, Japan, and Vietnam. East Asians may profess themselves to be Shintoists, Taoists, Buddhists, Muslims, or Christians - but seldom do they cease to be Confucians.

"Confucius," the common name of Confucianism's founder, is a Latinized form of the Chinese K'ung-fu-tzu, "Master K'ung." The terms "Confucianism" and "Confucian" are not meaningful terms in Chinese. They are Western terms, coined in Europe as recently as the 18th century.

Sources

Confucius.” Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. Web. Accessed 22 Nov. 2016.

Hinnells, John R. (ed.). “Confucius.” Penguin Dictionary of Religions. London: Penguin Books, 1997.

Hinnells, John R. (ed.). “Confucian State Cult.” Penguin Dictionary of Religions. London: Penguin Books, 1997.

Hinnells, John R. (ed.). “Confucian canon.” Penguin Dictionary of Religions. London: Penguin Books, 1997.

Weiming, Tu. “Confucianism.” Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. Web. Accessed 22 Nov. 2016.

  • Confucian Beliefs

    Confucianism concerns itself primarily with ethical principles and does not address many traditional religious beliefs. These are generally provided by Chinese religion, Taoism, Buddhism, or other religion which Confucians follow... full article →
  • Confucian Ethics

    The main principle of Confucianism is ren ("humaneness" or "benevolence"), signifying excellent character in accord with li (ritual norms), zhong (loyalty to one's true nature), shu (reciprocity), and xiao (filial piety)... full article →
  • Confucian Glossary

    Definitions of terms related to Confucianism. full article →
  • Confucian History

    Confucius was born in 551 BCE in the small feudal state of Lu in what is now Shantung Province. Confucius' ancestors were probably members of the aristocracy who had become virtual poverty-stricken commoners by the time of his birth... full article →
  • Confucian Practices

    Aside from its important ethical principles, Confucianism does not prescribe any specific rituals or practices. These are filled by the practices of Chinese religion, Taoism, Buddhism, or other religion which Confucians follow. full article →
  • Confucian Symbols

    Confucianism has no official symbol or standard icon. The symbol most commonly used to represent Confucianism is probably the Chinese character for water, which represents life... full article →
  • Confucian Texts

    The Lun-yü (Analects) are the most revered sacred scripture in the Confucian tradition. It was probably compiled by the second generation of Confucius' disciples... full article →
  • Confucian Timeline

    The history of Confucianism at a glance. full article →

Article Info

Title Confucianism
Published
Last UpdatedFebruary 1, 2017
URL www.religionfacts.com/confucianism
Short URLrlft.co/1582
MLA Citation “Confucianism.” ReligionFacts.com. 1 Feb. 2017. Web. Accessed 21 Feb. 2017. <www.religionfacts.com/confucianism>

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