Details about the major themes of Confucianism Essay

384 WordsNov 30, 20082 Pages
 Ren (仁)   According to Confucius, people should love each other and practice respect and courtesy toward each other in their daily life.  Li (礼)  It has two meanings. The first meaning of Li is “ propriety,” a set of manners or knowledge of how to behave in a given situation. It presumes that the various roles and relationships of life have been clearly defined. In this regard, rituals also refer to the standards of behavior laid down by the rulers of the Western Zhou---the Way of Antiquity (P.32).  The second meaning of Li is “ ritual”---Rituals included a whole variety of practices that had to do with all aspects of life, from eating and sleeping to receiving guests and offering prayers for good crops.  Junzi (君子)  Juanzi stands for a man of great moral quality or a gentleman, in the sense of a cultivated or a superior man.  To be a Junzi, one must first of all follow the principles of Ren and Li and then develop the following personalities: loyal to his ruler, loving his family, wise and brave, modest and humble, honest and sincere, kind and generous, having a heart of gratitude and a feeling of shame in doing something wrong.  Zhongyong (中庸)  How to make Li and Ren present and operative in a person ?  The way is Zhongyong---the doctrine of the mean  “ Going to extremes” is the enemy of the great method in dealing with problems.  “ Too much” or “ too little” has the same harm in our life.  In using the way, a person has to balance well between or among several solutions to a problem, with the strict principles of Ren and Li as guide.   The five hierarchical relationships define the basis of a well-ordered society. Father to son  kindness in the

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