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Confucianism . Dominant in China. Based on teachings of Confucius Focus on ethics (proper behavior) for individuals & government. 2 basic principles– Ren (concern for others) and li (appropriate behavior) society would function best if people followed them.

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dominant in china
Dominant in China
  • Based on teachings of Confucius
  • Focus on ethics (proper behavior) for individuals & government.
  • 2 basic principles– Ren (concern for others) and li (appropriate behavior) society would function best if people followed them.
  • Everyone has a role in society & order was maintained when people knew their place & behaved appropriately.
family influence
Family Influence
  • Confucian teachings about family were highly honored.
  • Children had to respect their elders. Disobeying parents was a crime.
  • Father was head of the family and had absolute power. Women had to obey their husband and children had to obey their father.
  • If family was strong and children obeyed their father, they would also obey the emperor.
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Could gain jobs by being respectful to parents.

  • Children were expected to serve parents and honor dead parents with ceremonies and offerings.
  • Parents valued boys more than girls because boys carried on family line and took care of elderly parents.
  • Daughters could gain power in their son’s family or if they were widowed.
after death of confucius
After Death of Confucius
  • Ideas were spread by his followers, but weren’t widely accepted.
  • Han dynasty, Confucianism became official state philosophy.
  • During Period of Disunion (when Han collapsed), Confucianism was overshadowed by Buddhism--- many Chinese turned to Buddhism for peace and comfort
confucius says
Confucius Says…
  • I hear and I forget, I see and I remember. I do and I understand.
  • Forget injuries, never forget kindness.
  • Study the past if you want to define the future.
  • It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.
  • Men’s natures are alike, it is their habits that carry them far apart.
  • What the superior man seeks is in himself; what the small man seeks is in others.
  • Have no friends not equal to yourself.
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