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Originating 551 B.C. in China

Heaven is a vast infinite space composing of yin and yang forces.

The Far Eastern belief's known as Confucianism are named for its chief proponent, the Chinese philosopher Confucius, although other didacts called Ju, or meek ones, contributed significantly to its principles.

Confucius, or K'ung Fu-tzu, to give him his Chinese name, was an accountant in the province of Lu. Later, he became the first Oriental to teach all ranks of people the six arts of Chinese culture: history, numbers, ceremonies, music, archery, and charioteering. Among his teachings was the imperative ideal of Jen, or benevolence, which formed the main ethic of Confucianism. He also pointed out that truth could be discovered only by acknowledging one's faults, and he strongly stressed altruism and the obeisance of children to parents.

Confucianism as taught by the master himself dwelled on a belief that people could best be led by example, and Confucius when lecturing pointed to a previous period of history, attributing the prosperity of the people to the leadership of the emperors. He did not believe in prayer, but taught that man directs his own destiny.

Many theologians tend to recognize Confucianism more as a philosophy than as a formal religion, because it has no church, clergy, or institutions in which to conduct worship.

The greatest spreading of Confucianism for many years came from students, who, embracing the Wu Ching (Five Classics) compiled by Confucius, used it to emphasize the development of human nature and the person as an individual.

Confucianism was made the state religion of China during the T'ang Dynasty, A.D. 618-906, but a recent push to restore its former status was rebuffed, although Confucianism still claims more than 300 million practicioners today.


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