Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 1 decade ago

religion in china quest.?

on the topic of confucianism, daoism, and legalism....

why is it that we see so much more emphasis on philosophies than religions? why do these philosophies develop when they do?


how are they different? and how are they similar?

1 Answer

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Confucianism was started by Confucius in the 6th or 5th century B.C. and has often had to contend with other religious, cultural, philosophical and political systems, notably Taoism, Buddhism and Communism.

    In its early form (before the 3rd century B.C.) Confucianism was primarily a system of ethical precepts for the proper management of society. The first occurrences of a real Confucian system may have been created by his disciples or by their disciples. During the philosophically fertile period of the Hundred Schools of Thought, great early figures of Confucianism such as Mencius (385 – 303 B.C.) and Xun Zi (300–230 B.C.) developed Confucianism into an ethical and political doctrine.

    Religious contenders like Buddhism and Taoism then started to make inroads in China. In the first century B.C., after China conquered large parts of central Asia, Buddhism gradually came to the forefront of Chinese religions.

    On the other hand. Taoism's origins are traced to prehistoric Chinese religions in China. They are found in the composition of the Tao Te Ching (3rd or 4th century B.C.). Laozi received imperial recognition as a divinity in the mid second century A.D. in China andTaoismm grew in popularity along with Buddhism. In fact, Daoism is both a philosophy of life and an organized religion practiced by several hundred million people.

    The neo-Confucian eclecticism was unified and established as an orthodoxy by Chu Hsi (1130–1200 A.D.), and his system dominated subsequent Chinese intellectual life until the overthrow of the monarchy in 1912 and Communists came to power in 1949. The overthrow of the monarchy, with which Confucianism had been closely identified, led to the disintegration of Confucian institutions and a decline of Confucian traditions, a process accelerated after the Communist revolution of 1949.

    Up until fifty years ago religious Taoism was one of the largest, strongest institutions in China. During the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s, however, the Chinese government attempted to stamp out non-communist beliefs by destroying Daoist temples and persecuting Taoist priests. Since 2004 Confucianism has experienced a great revival in China, as it is now actively supported by the Chinese central government.

    Confucianism suffered marked declines from the 3rd to the 7th centuries. It enjoyed a renaissance in the late T'ang Dynasty (618–906), but it was not until the Sung Dynasty (960–1279) and the appearance of neo-Confucianism that Confucianism became the dominant philosophy among the Chinese educated classes.

    Today, China is 50% Buddhist, 30% Daoist (Taoist), 14%atheist and the remainder are a mix of religions. The cultural background of Chinese people is deeply influenced by Confucianism but it is not considered a true religion. It is a philosophy stressing ethical, moral and social values.


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