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Contents

Introduction

Confucianism

His Teaching

Lun Yu

Mang Tzu



Introduction

Confucius





The first and most notable is CONFUCIUS (K'ung Fu Tzu), who was born in 551 B.C. and died in 479 B.C. in the state of Lu.

His ancestry is unknown and was largely self-educated according to the history. Later became a teacher, philosopher and political theorist, but was unable to gain a worthwhile position where he could put his theories into practice and, after years of traveling, returned home to continue teaching until his death at the age of 72. Although during his lifetime he had little influence outside his own band of disciples, Confucianism has been the dominant philosophical system in China for over 2000 years.


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Confucianism

The principles of Confucianism are contained in 6 different ancient classical Chinese books:

Ng King (Five Classics) 


(1)

 Yi King


(2)

Si King


(3)

Shui King


(4)

Chun Chau


(5)

Lai Kay


Say Sue 






His Teaching

"Ren" (love and humanity) is the major teaching in Confucianism.

Confucius said: "Respect others will gain respect in return."


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Lun Yu



This is the collection of Confucius teachings which form the basic philosophy.

Confucianism was proclaimed the state doctrine after a national university was founded in 124 B.C. From that time, government officials were selected on the basis of their knowledge of Confucian classics. The system of examination to attain an official position was open to all regardless of class or wealth and remained in force until 1905.

The influence of Confucianism spreads to neighboring countries, in particular Japan, and has been closely studied in the West. His disciples wrote down the analects or sayings of Confucius after his death.






Mang Tzu (Confucius's follower)



Confucianism was interpreted and shaped by many sages and philosophers over the years. The best known of these, and the only other historical figure to have his name Latinised, was MENCIUS (Mang Tzu) who was born in 371 B.C., in the province now known as Shan-dong, and died in 289 B.C. He was taught by descendents of Confucius's followers and closely followed Confucian philosophy, particularly the statement "only good men should rule and that the ruler's right to rule is a mandate of heaven."

He was probably the greatest of Chinese sages after Confucius and was not only a philosophical idealist but also addressed practical issues such as social and political reforms, taxes, road maintenance and relieving the conditions of the poor.


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