Study Guide

The World's Religions - Chapter IV, Confucianism, Ethics or Religion?, Summary & Analysis

Huston Smith
This Study Guide consists of approximately 51 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The World's Religions.
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Chapter IV, Confucianism, Ethics or Religion?, Summary and Analysis

If religion is considered from its broader sense as being a way of life, Confucianism might be classified as a religion, albeit approached entirely differently from other world religions. Heaven and Earth in Confucianism are looked upon as a continuum, with Heaven being the abode of the ancestors. Heaven is considered the more important of the two Realms and earthly political institutions that lapsed in the sacrificial offering to the ancestors was considered to have lost its right to rule. Nevertheless, Confucius believed that people come first, emphasizing the practical concerns of daily living. He shifted the emphasis from ancestor worship to filial piety and respect. Duties to family were more important to Confucius than duties to the departed. Yet, he maintained that Heaven "knew him" and believed in a trinity...

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This section contains 196 words
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