CREDOS : Confucianism — I

Origin: The roots of Confucianism long predate the birth of Confucius himself. They lie in the teachings of the ancient Chinese scholar class (ju), who performed the rituals of the official cult of nature worship and ancestor reverence. They made offerings to a host of nature deities, including Heaven and Earth, as well as to the royal ancestors. Confucius always claimed to be an interpreter of these ancient scholars, not an innovator. He deliberated deeply on the meaning of tradition and was committed to parts of the past in shaping the future. Life of Confucius: The early family circumstances of K’ung Fu Tzu are not known, but he was certainly educated, and so was probably not among the poorest members of society. In later years, Tzu is known to have married and had children, and he appears to have been ambitious for political success, using his position to promote peace and good government.

Being unable to realise this ideal in his own state, he, together with a number of his disciples, wandered for 13 years among other states, seeking opportunities to carry out his policies.

He never actually managed this but was highly successful in training young men for their own political careers, kindling in his students as enthusiasm for literature, history and philosophy, and turning them into his devoted and dedicated disciples. K’ung died at the age of 73. Confucius considered himself a philosopher and teacher of ethics, rather than a religious leader, and asserted the importance of moral laws. His concern was for social and political stability, which he taught could only be achieved by perfecting both social and individual life. — Religions of the World