Confucius Essay

348 WordsDec 10, 20092 Pages
What are the major elements of Confucianism? How is China’s traditional state and society influenced by Confucianism? Confucianism is the religion and teachings by a man named Confucius who lived between 551-479 B.C. In his teachings he emphasized harmony, respect, and many other aspects for people to abide by. This religion acts as a social code, providing various roles of society with appropriate behaviors to follow according to what their position is in everyday Asian society and in their specific families. Some of it’s many major elements include filial piety, ethical behavior, and social hierarchies. The concept of filial piety is that respectful reverence is how everyone should be treated. Confucianism has five basic relationships which include: ruler and subject, father and son, husband and wife, sibling to sibling, and friend and friend. With these relationships, obligations follow. For example, the subject of a ruler is obligated to obey his ruler, however the ruler also has an obligation to show kindness toward the subject. These relationships also correlate with Confucian ethical behavior by setting up these moral principles for people to live by. Confucianism highly affected China’s traditional state and society by enforcing the civil service examinations. It became a state ideology of China and soon after positions of the bureaucracy were taken by the passing of the exams that were based on the Confucian classics. The results were that the bureaucracy was no longer staffed by engineers, economists, or politicians, but a majority were literary scholars. The civil service exams took years to study. It didn’t solely test Confucian classics, but in addition it tested writing poetry, writing in the “eight legged essay” style, and calligraphy. These exams were done at many different levels such as district,

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