Sunday, March 1, 2009

Confucianism 1

Confucianism means "The School of the Scholars"; or, less accurately, "The Religion of Confucius") is an East Asian ethical and philosophical system originally developed from the teachings of the early Chinese sage Confucius. It is a complex system of moral, social, political and religious which had tremendous influence on the history of Chinese civilization down to the 20th century.

Some have considered it to have been the "state religion" of imperial China.Debated during the Warring States Period and forbidden during the short-lived Qin Dynasty, Confucianism was chosen by Han Wudi for use as a political system to govern the Chinese state. Despite its loss of influence during the Tang Dynasty, Confucianist doctrine remained a mainstream Chinese orthodoxy for two millennia until the beginning of the 20th century, when it was vigorously repressed by Chinese Communism.

However, there are recent signs of a revival of Confucianism in mainland China.The cultures most strongly influenced by Confucianism include Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese. This includes various territories, including mainland China (including Hong Kong and Macao), Taiwan, Singapore (settled predominantly by ethnic Chinese), the Korean peninsula, and Vietnam.Confucianism as passed down to the 20th and 21st century derives primarily from the school of the Neo-Confucians, led by Zhu Xi, who gave Confucianism renewed vigour in the Song and later dynasties.

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