Lives of Confucius: Civilizations Greatest Sage Through the Ages

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He had faith in the cumulative power of culture. The fact that traditional ways had lost vitality did not, for him, diminish their potential for regeneration in the future. The scholarly tradition envisioned by Confucius can be traced to the sage-kings of antiquity. Although the earliest dynasty confirmed by archaeology is the Shang dynasty 18th—12th century bce , the historical period that Confucius claimed as relevant was much earlier. This elaborate system of mutual dependence was based on blood ties, marriage alliances, and old covenants as well as on newly negotiated contracts.

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Its implementation enabled the Western Zhou dynasty to survive in relative peace and prosperity for more than five centuries. Inspired by the statesmanship of Zhougong, Confucius harboured a lifelong dream to be in a position to emulate the duke by putting into practice the political ideas that he had learned from the ancient sages and worthies. Although Confucius never realized his political dream, his conception of politics as moral persuasion became more and more influential. Lord on High may have referred to the ancestral progenitor of the Shang royal lineage, but heaven to the Zhou kings, although also ancestral, was a more-generalized anthropomorphic god.

This emphasis on benevolent rulership, expressed in numerous bronze inscriptions, was both a reaction to the collapse of the Shang dynasty and an affirmation of a deep-rooted worldview. Partly because of the vitality of the feudal ritual system and partly because of the strength of the royal household itself, the Zhou kings were able to control their kingdom for several centuries. In bce , however, they were forced to move their capital eastward to present-day Luoyang to avoid barbarian attacks from Central Asia. Real power thereafter passed into the hands of feudal lords.

Sacrifice is made to the ancestors who once lived on earth by playing music to recall the spirit from heaven and spilling and drinking wine to draw the soul from the earth. Confucius is credited with writing or editing several works during his lifetime, categorized as the Five Classics and the Four Books.


These writings range from historical accounts to poetry to autobiographical sentiments to rites and rituals. They have served as the backbone for civil reflection and governance in China since the end of the Warring States Period in B.

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Share Flipboard Email. Kris Hirst. Kris Hirst is an archaeologist with 30 years of field experience. Updated April 23, Three classes of ru students and teachers are found in Confucianism Zhang Binlin :.

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The Five Classics are:. The Four Books include:. Analects Confucius' teachings and conversations The Great Learning guide to self improvement by examining the world The Doctrine of the Mean guide to maintaining harmony in life Mencius collection of discussions between Confucius and Mencius. Ho DYF. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 25 2 Hwang K-K.

The sage in our age -

Asian Journal of Social Psychology 2 1 Johnson, Spencer. The Value of Honesty: the Story of Confucius.

Danbury Press, Kaizuka, Shigeki, and Geoffrey Bownas. Confucius: His Life and Thought. Dover Publications, Li J, and Yongqiang L. Philosophical edification and edificatory philosophy: On the basic features of the Confucian spirit. Frontiers of Philosophy in China 2 2 Taylor R, and Arbuckle G. The Journal of Asian Studies 54 2 Yao X.

A hundred girls aren't worth a single testicle. Attributed on the internet; a popular Vietnamese saying. Wikipedia has an article about: Confucius. Wikisource has original works written by or about: Confucius. Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Confucius.

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