Confucianism: A Religion Research Paper

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The relationship of mutual obligations a ruler has with his subjects or a parent has with his child parallels the relationship heaven has with humanity. To turn one's self into an educated person embodying virtues via what we might think as a secular associated (such as honoring the Emperor or raising one's children well) is not dissociated from connecting with the divine. The concept of 'animism' or non-living beings having a spiritual life is also present in many of the East Asian traditions: rather than idolatry, this is actually a way of conceptualizing the cycle of life, as one's ancestors or a spiritual, non-rational mode of existence are manifest in aspects of nature in a hidden form.

This suggests that rather than viewing Confucianism as a non-religion in an ethnocentric fashion, we must accept that 'religion' takes on a different meaning in different social contexts. Confucianism is not simply an ethical system such as utilitarianism in the West as it is tied to higher moral values, familial relationships and traditions, and permeates all of society in terms of its rituals and moral ethos. However, it cannot be confined by the definitions of religion we are won't to make in the west. The 'problem' of understanding Confucianism for Westerners really highlights the need to define what is a religion in a society only after studying the culture that produced it on its own terms, not our terms.

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Confucianism: A Religion.  (2014, June 18).  Retrieved May 26, 2020, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/confucianism-religion-way/3963819

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"Confucianism: A Religion."  Essaytown.com.  June 18, 2014.  Accessed May 26, 2020.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/confucianism-religion-way/3963819.