Confucianism: An Introduction (I.B.Tauris Introductions to by Ronnie L. Littlejohn

By Ronnie L. Littlejohn

It really is arguably Confucianism, now not Communism, which lies on the middle of China's inner most experience of self. even though reviled by way of chinese language intellectuals of the 1950s-1990s, who referred to it as "yellow silt clotting the arteries of the country," Confucianism has defied eradication, final a primary a part of the nation's soul for 2500 years. And now, as China assumes larger ascendancy at the international fiscal level, it really is creating a powerful comeback as a realistic philosophy of private in addition to company transformation, renowned in either domestic and boardroom. what's this complicated approach of ideology that stems from the lessons of a striking guy known as Confucius (Kongzi), who lived within the far away 6th century BCE? although he left no writings of his personal, the oral teachings recorded through the founder's disciples within the Analects left a profound mark on later chinese language politics and governance. They define a method of social cohesiveness based upon own advantage and strength of mind. For Confucius, society's concord relied upon the correct behaviour of every person in the social hierarchy; and its emphasis on functional ethics has led many to think about Confucianism as an earthly philosophy instead of a faith. during this new, complete advent, Ronnie Littlejohn argues fairly that Confucianism is profoundly religious, and has to be handled as such. He deals complete assurance of the tradition's occasionally missed metaphysics, in addition to its diversified manifestations in schooling, paintings, literature and tradition.

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He knows many rituals and much music, and performs all of his functions not only with skill, but also with grace, dignity, and beauty, and he takes delight in the performance. indd 32 02/09/2010 09:34 What Confucius Taught: the Analects 33 his parents and elders, but now takes all under Heaven (tian) as his dwelling. (Ames and Rosemont 1998: 62) The heart of the authentic teachings of Confucius in the Analects, contained largely in the first stratum of the text, consists of a number of analects concerned with the exemplary person.

As ba vied for power, eventually the weakened central government of the Zhou recognized the de facto division of its state of Jin into three smaller states. Once this was done, the Warring States Period began, as each ba sought greater autonomy and power. The Commentary of Gongyang is said to have originated with Zixia, one of Confucius’s disciples, and was recorded by a man named Gongyang. The traditional belief is that it was the result of secret esoteric transmissions about the true mission of Confucius and the truth of his teachings through the centuries by his true disciples (Csikszentmihalyi 2002: 39).

Why did the great Chinese philosopher Mencius say, ‘Ever since man came into this world, there has never been another Confucius’ (Mengzi 2A2)? When trying to understand Confucius’s remarkable greatness, we do well to remember that behind the scenes of the traditional image of a unitary Confucius, it is possible to uncover a number of sometimes contradictory views of this great man. Within about 200 years of Confucius’s death, there were no less than eight competing Confucian sects according to the work Hanfeizi, #50 and each had its own version of the great teacher’s work and merit.

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