Humanities and Arts

Visualising the historical development and belief system of confucianism

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The main aim of this paper is to visualize the historical development and the belief system of Confucianism. Confucianism is a term used in Western literature as the name for the philosophy and religion based on the teachings of its founder Confucius.). Confucius believed that political order can be restored if the ideals, standards, and rites found in the ancient classics were put into practice. This practice developed from an ethico-political system of a paternal government based on the doctrine of humaneness. Confucianism has also spread well beyond China, and its principles and values are highly honoured in East Asian countries such as Japan, Korea, and Vietnam (Morgan 2001). The adoption of Confucianism as the official state ideology made Confucian learning the only legitimate content of state education during the Han dynasty. Confucianism has sometimes been purely humanistic, void of any religious elements. While it is true that Confucius did not dwell much into the religious dimension, there is sufficient inferences in his writings that points to this dimension. The basic tenets of Confucianism are captured in the teachings of Confucius which deal with social and moral values. The texts of Confucianism are traditionally known as the “Four Books and Five Classics”. One common practice derived from of this religion is ancestral worship. This is probably the most recognisable influence of Confucius on Chinese culture. The last section of this review takes a comparative look at Confucianism and Christianity. It points out gaps and the bridges that’s between Christians and Confucianism and how interreligious dialogues and the preaching of the gospel relates to Confucian teachings.