The Religion of The Chinese

Xi’s Crackdown on Religion Is China’s Worst in 40 Years
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Folk religion also retains traces of some of its ancestral neolithic belief systems which include the veneration of the Sun , Moon , Earth , Heaven and various stars , as well as communication with animals. It has been practice alongside Buddhism , Confucianism , and Taoism by Chinese people throughout the world for thousands of years. Daoism, or Taoism, is a philosophy-religion that is at least 2, years old. It originated from China and is now widely practised in Korea. It is very mysterious, and instead of spending a lot of time trying to explain what the Tao is, Taoists focus on living a simple and balanced life in harmony with nature.

This is one of the most important principles in Taoism. Taoists also believe that conflict is not good and that if you have a problem with something, it is better to find a way around it. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The main religions in China are Buddhism , Chinese folklore , Taoism and Confucianism among many others Abrahamic religions are also practiced.

See also: Major world religions. See also: Daoism. Category : Religion in China. Namespaces Page Talk. Views Read Change Change source View history. The collapse of the Zhou system persuaded the majority of intellectuals that there was a critical need for a new political and ideological foundation for the state. There were, essentially, two aspects to the intellectual problem posed by the Zhou breakdown: theoretical and practical. The theoretical problem stemmed from the doctrine of the Mandate of Heaven: if Heaven indeed has or is a moral will, and if Heaven has the power to influence human events by replacing evil rulers with good ones, how can such violence and suffering continue?

The practical problem, which on the whole received more attention than the theoretical one, was simply: how are social and political order and harmony to be restored? What is the proper role of government in human life, and how should society and government be organized and run? How can rulers discharge their moral responsibilities to their people and to Heaven? How can they maintain their legitimacy in light of the Mandate of Heaven?

Chinese Religion | Data on Chinese Religions | GRF

It was in this context that we find the beginnings of Chinese philosophy. Confucius c. His given name was Kong Qiu; as an adult he was commonly known as Kong Zhongni, although many called him by the honorific name Kongzi, or Master Kong. Lu was a state in which the old Zhou cultural traditions were strong but that was buffeted both by repeated invasions and by local power struggles. Confucius's goal was the restoration of the ethical standards, just rule, and legitimate government -- the Dao or "Way" -- of the early Zhou period as he understood them. The models for the restoration of the Dao were the founding kings of the Zhou dynasty, who had ruled with reverence toward their ancestors and kindness toward their people, ever fearful of losing Heaven's approval.

These models had mythic force for Confucius, who saw himself as their embodiment in his own age.

Religion in China

The sources from which the Way of the ancient kings could be learned were ritual, historical, literary, and oracular texts, some of which later came to be known as the Five Scriptures wu jing. In addition to the Yijing , the divination text discussed above, they included the Shijing Scripture of Odes , a collection of folk and aristocratic songs allegedly collected by Confucius; the Shujing Scripture of Documents , purporting to consist of official documents from the ancient Xia dynasty still historically undocumented up through the Shang and early Zhou dynasties; the Chunqiu Spring and Autumn , the terse history of Confucius's home state of Lu; and the Liji Record of Ritual , which describes not only the formal rituals of the early Zhou, but also the modes of behavior, customs, dress, and other aspects of the lives of the early kings.

A sixth one, the Yuejing Scripture of Music , is no longer extant but sections of it survive in the Liji. Although several parts of the Five Scriptures were later attributed to Confucius, it is not likely that he wrote anything that survives.

Religion in Ancient China

The best source of his teachings is the Lunyu Analects , a collection of his sayings recorded by his disciples after his death. Since the compilation of this text continued for over a century, much of it is not historically reliable. Nevertheless, throughout Chinese history until recent times it has been regarded as the definitive teachings of Confucius, so in terms of its influence on Chinese culture it can be read as a whole.

Confucius believed that society could be transformed by the moral cultivation of those in power, because virtue de has a natural transformative effect on others. This inner moral power or potential was "given birth to" or generated in the individual by Heaven, and it was this that Heaven responded to, not merely the outward show of ritual or the exercise of force.

Thus government by virtue - i. De had earlier referred simply to the power of a ruler to attract and influence subjects, so in this and several other respects Confucius's innovation was to moralize a concept that hitherto had been ethically neutral. The moral perfection of the individual and the perfection of society were coordinate goals, for the moral perfection of the self required a morally supportive social environment, in the form of stable and loving families, opportunities for education, and good rulers to serve as models.

Society as a whole could best be perfected from the top down, and in terms of the political situation it was most important to establish a government staffed by virtuous men women did not serve in government. For these reasons Confucius directed his teaching toward local rulers and men whose goal was to serve in government. Literacy was a major component of the moral cultivation that he taught, and so he did not bring his message to the masses, the great majority of whom at that time were illiterate.

The Diversity of Religion in China

He gathered a small group of disciples whom he taught to become junzi "superior men" , men of ethical sensitivity and historical wisdom who were devoted to moral self-cultivation in preparation to become humane and able government officials. The term junzi had originally referred to hereditary nobility, but Confucius used it to mean a kind of moral nobility.

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Likewise, he expanded the meaning of li , or "ritual," to mean proper behavior and a kind of reverent seriousness in one's every action. Ren described the inner moral character that was necessary in order for one's outward behavior, or li , to be authentic and meaningful.

Confucius regarded ren as a nearly transcendental quality that only the mythic sages of the past had actually attained, although later Confucians claimed it was attainable by anyone.

The Growth of Religion in China

But it should be acknowledged that, since religion is a multi-dimensional set of complex human phenomena, no single definition short of a laundry list of common characteristics should be expected to capture its essence. With the rise of Confucian orthodoxy in the Han period BCE— CE , shamanic traditions found an institutionalised and intellectualised form within the esoteric philosophical discourse of Taoism. Liu Xiu r. Confucianism as Religion: Controversies and Consequences. We have received your email and will get back to you as soon as possible.

Thus Confucius initiated a new level of ethical awareness in Chinese culture and a new form of education, education in what he believed were universal principles for mature humanity and civilization. He assumed that the criteria for holding office were intelligence and high moral principles, not hereditary status, and so further undermined the Zhou feudal system that was crumbling around him. His ethical teachings were intended to describe the "Way" dao of the superior or morally noble person, a way that originated in the will of Heaven for its people.

Although this Way had been put into practice by the glorious founders of the Zhou dynasty, it was not presently being practiced. The absence of the Way was manifested by widespread conflict and a breakdown of ritual and propriety li , indicating not only a breach in the social order but also in the cosmic order.

Ritual or ritual propriety, therefore, was not merely a means of enforcing social order, nor was Confucius's innovation a turn from religion to philosophy; rather it was a philosophical deepening of a fundamentally religious worldview. Despite the fact that he urged his followers to pay more attention to human affairs than to the worship of the variety of traditional spiritual beings, he denied neither their existence nor the importance of worshipping ancestors. He redirected the religious sense of awe and reverence that had traditionally been focused on the realm of gods and spirits to the human, social and political sphere. The followers of Confucius came to be known as ru or "scholars," signifying their relationship with the literary tradition. They were in a sense custodians of and experts in the literate cultural tradition wen , especially in the areas of court ritual, official protocol, and history.

By the fourth and third centuries B. They included a school of natural philosophy based on the concept of the yin dark, quiescent and yang light, active phases of qi psycho-physical substance ; an early form of Daoism Taoism ; a school of Legalism that taught the strict application of law and punishment as the solution to the era's disorder; a school based on the investigation of names and their meanings; and several others.

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In the culture at large religious beliefs and activities continued unabated; divination and rituals accompanied every significant activity, and a quest for personal immortality was gaining momentum. One of the new schools of thought that reflected this common concern for religion was that of Mozi. Mozi Master Mo, fifth century B.

He was from Confucius's home state of Lu and was educated in the emerging Confucian tradition, but turned against what he perceived to be its elitism and wasteful concern with elaborate rituals. In his ethical teaching Mozi reinterpreted along utilitarian lines such Confucian principles as righteousness and filial reverence, focusing on the theme of universal love without familial and social distinctions.

He also attracted a group of disciples whom he sent out to serve in various states in an attempt to implement his teachings.

For the history of Chinese religions the most significant aspect of Mozi's thought is his concern to provide theological sanctions for his views. For Mozi, Tian, or Heaven, is an active creator god whose will or mandate extends to everyone; what Heaven wills is love, prosperity, and peace for all.

All religion suppressed

Religion in China (CFPS ). Non-religious / Chinese folk religion (including regional deities and ancestors, Confucianism, Taoism, Chinese Buddhism). The Religion of China: Confucianism and Taoism is a book written by Max Weber , a German economist and sociologist. It was first published in German under.

Heaven is the ultimate ruler of the whole world; Tian sees all, rewards the good, and punishes the evil. In this task it is aided by a multitude of lesser spirits who are also intelligent and vital and who serve as messengers between Tian and human beings. Mozi advocated that since this is the nature of divine reality, religious reverence should be encouraged by the state as a sanction for moral order.

To protect himself from intellectual skeptics Mozi at one point allowed that even if deities and spirits do not exist communal worship still has social value. Although his whole attempt to argue for belief in Heaven on utilitarian grounds could be understood as a last stand for traditional religion within a changing philosophical world, there is no reason to doubt that Mozi himself believed in the gods. The fourth century B. A variety of thinkers arose, each propounding a cure for the ills of the age, most seeking to establish their views by training disciples and attaining office.

Some advocated moral reform through education, others authoritarian government, laissez faire administration, rationalized bureaucracy, agricultural communes, rule in accord with the powers of nature, or individual self-fulfillment. Religious concerns were not paramount for these thinkers; indeed, for some they do not appear at all.

The two traditions of this period that do warrant discussion here are the Confucian, represented by Mengzi Mencius, c.

Master Meng, whose given name was Meng Ke, was a teacher and would-be administrator from the small state of Zou who developed Confucius's teachings and placed them on a much firmer philosophical and literary base.