New PDF release: An Introduction to Confucianism (Introduction to Religion)

By Xinzhong Yao

ISBN-10: 0521644305

ISBN-13: 9780521644303

Making an allowance for the lengthy historical past and wide variety of Confucian reviews, this e-book introduces Confucianism - initiated in China through Confucius (551 BC-479 BC) - essentially as a philosophical and non secular culture. It can pay consciousness to Confucianism in either the West and the East, focussing at the tradition's doctrines, colleges, rituals, sacred locations and terminology, but additionally stressing the variations, variations and new pondering happening nowa days. Xinzhong Yao offers Confucianism as a practice with many dimensions and as an old culture with modern charm. this provides the reader a richer and clearer view of ways Confucianism functioned long ago and of what it potential within the current. A chinese language student dependent within the West, he attracts jointly the numerous strands of Confucianism in a mode obtainable to scholars, lecturers, and common readers drawn to one of many world's significant non secular traditions.

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Some conclude that as a profession ru refers originally to dancers and musicians in religious ceremonies of the Shang Dynasty when the worship of spirits and gods dominated the life of the people. A ru would perform various dances and play music as imprecation for a good harvest and as oCerings to gods or ancestors, and would lead ceremonies for the coming of rain during the seasons of drought. To fulfil their duties ru had to study not only the rituals proper, but also other relevant subjects such as astronomy/astrology to predict rain or drought.

At this stage, ru was a special group in society whose members were roughly equivalent to what we mean by shamans, magicians and sorcerers. Secondly, ru were masters of rituals and ceremonies, who performed, or assisted the performance of, various rituals. At this stage, ru referred to professionals expert in religious rituals, rites and ceremonies. Thirdly, ritual masters became teachers in oAcial education. To be able to look after rituals, ru must have mastered history, poetry, music, astrology, archery and mathematics which were closely related to rituals in ancient times.

However, Confucian ethics is not confined to the family. It takes family virtues as the cornerstone of social order and world peace. Its logic is that the family is the basic unit of the human community and that harmonious family relationships will inevitably lead to a harmonious society and a peaceful state: ‘If only everyone loved his parents and treated his elders with deference, the Empire would be at peace’ (Mengzi, 4a: 11). For those who are members of the ruling class, their virtues in family aCairs are even more significant for the whole country: ‘When a ruler feels profound aCection for his parents, the common people will naturally become humane’ (Lunyu, 8: 2).

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An Introduction to Confucianism (Introduction to Religion) by Xinzhong Yao


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