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What are some of the beliefs of Confucianism?

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Quick Answer

Some of the essential beliefs of Confucianism are that people must maintain a sense of doing what is right, serve their superiors diligently and loyally, display benevolence towards others and that an ideal ruler should influence others by moral example. Confucianism holds to a humanistic outlook in which the secular is sacred. People are expected to perform and adhere to specific rules and rituals based on societal hierarchy in their interactions with each other.

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What are some of the beliefs of Confucianism?
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Considered a philosophical and ethical system more than a religion, Confucianism places an emphasis on family and ethics rather than on salvation through a transcendent divine being. Humans are seen as being improvable, teachable and perfectible through self-cultivation and their communal and personal endeavors. The promotion of the virtues encompassed by the Wuchang, or Five Virtues, characterize Confucian ethics. These virtues are Ren (humaneness), Yi (righteousness or justice), Li (proper rite), Zhi (knowledge) and Xin (integrity). Confucianism views with contempt any person who fails to uphold the cardinal moral imperatives of Ren or Yi.

The classical Confucian teachings were key to the orthodox state ideologies of Chinese dynasties, particularly the Han Dynasty (202 BC-220 AD), when they received state support and were taught in upper-class society. Countries that were influenced by Confucian thought include China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan and Vietnam.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are the basic principles of Confucianism?

    A:

    The two main principles that form the base for Confucianism are Jen and Li. However, it is important to note there are six basic principles in Confucianism, and Jen and Li are the two most prominent.

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  • Q:

    How has Confucianism influenced Chinese society?

    A:

    Confucianism has been integral to the formation of modern Chinese society by encouraging social order, respect for the elderly, the elevation of teachers, and the good of the community. Confucianism informs and influences Chinese culture comprehensively.

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  • Q:

    What are the major holidays of Confucianism?

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    The two major holidays of Confucianism are the birthday of Confucius and the Chinese New Year. The dates of these holidays follow the lunar calendar. In 2014, the New Year was celebrated on January 31 and Confucius' birthday was celebrated on September 20.

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  • Q:

    What are places of worship for Confucianism?

    A:

    There isn't a specific place of worship for Confucianism. There are public temples where incense may be burnt as an offering, but there are no religious services in the traditional sense. However, great importance is placed on ceremony and ritual within family life, as well as the community and government.

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