CREDOS : Confucianism — II

Philosophy: All virtues start with family, and filial piety is the root of a good life and the beginning of a good government. Following this understanding, a book entitled the "Classic of Filial Piety" was composed, which became one of the highly favoured texts in imperial China.

Ancestor worship became the centre of Co-nfucian practices, upheld by ordinary families and the imperial household alike. Offerings rites aimed at expressing reverence for the departed and morally educating the young. Confucius and his followers paid great attention to the well-being of mankind and the moral quality of life. They were confident in the basic goodness of the human race and optimistic for the human future and destiny. In finding the way to order, peace and harmony, Confucians ascribed immense importance to sincerity, loyalty, and the cultivation of benevolence. They declared that a good leader should maintain power and order by non-violent means, by the force of moral persuasion only. By these teachings, and through the influence of the "Five Classics" and "Four Books," the idea and practice of the scholar as administrator came to be.

Rites and Practices:

Confucius underlined the sanctity of the ancient rites — including offerings to heaven and to the ancestors — and the importance of treating all people with sincerity. He certainly believed in heaven, the transcendental power that protected him and gave him virtue. He also recognised transcendent spiritual values, and emphasised the importance f being reverent and respectful in making sacrifices to spiritual beings. However his attitudes towards spirits and life after death were humanistic. — Religions of the World