Journey to the West has been a major influence in Chinese culture. Many scholarly interpretations have either criticized or praised the legendary work by Wu Cheng’en, a renowned novelist and poet of Ming Dynasty. The two main contrasting themes of Journey to the West were interpreted as satirical and allegorical. Especially through the events in chapter twenty-nine, where the debate is at its climax: the interpretation of empty scrolls and the behaviour of the two monks as indicator between satire and allegory, meaningless and meaningful. This paper will argue that despite the seemingly satirical layouts of the story, the allegorical message does in fact reflect genuine Daoism and Buddhist values. Although this paper will use examples from various chapters of the book, the main focus will be on the most controversial event of Monk Xuanzang’s journey: the final scripture. Before our analysis, it is important to first refresh ourselves with a brief introduction of Daoist, Confucius and Buddhist core values.
Chinese Philosophy: The Three Pillars of Truth The three pillars of Chinese religions are Confucianism, Daoism and Buddhism. Their concepts interrelate, beliefs coinhere and they have influenced Chinese traditions tremendously through over a thousand year. Honorable, genuine relationships have made empires and the hierarchy system successful. Built from Confucius principles of six relations and their corresponding duties. One of the most controversial and often
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Classical China was a breeding ground for new ideas, inventions, and most importantly, religions. Although Classical China was littered with different religions and beliefs, Confucianism was the most prominent. Confucianism is based on the teachings of a philosophical
In another way, Daoism was based upon the teachings and writings of Laozi, whose views varied from the ideals of Confucianism. In summary, there has been a transformation in the Chinese culture due to founding contemporaries the philosophies workings of the three major social beliefs, Confucianism, Daoism, and Legalism. The three major social belief systems faced issues such as political order, humane treatment and how to unified society. Although there are distinct similarities and differences between the groups each established their own defined game plan or path in search of an optimistic future for china in order to solve or evict the many problems that plagued everyday
“It is often said that, aside from the impact of Marxism on twentieth-century China, the only other time when the Chinese looked beyond their own borders for intellectual sustenance was during the period when Buddhism was absorbed from India” (LaFleur 23). Why did this religion appeal to the Chinese when they disregarded so many other external influences? After all, being tied to the rest of the world by the Silk Road meant they were constantly inundated with novel concepts from far and wide. The answer must lie in how Buddhism interacted with the other faiths already established in the country, namely Confucianism and Daoism (sometimes spelled Taoism). While at first glance it may appear that Confucian China would be the last place
Chinese culture is also greatly embedded in religious and philosophical beliefs. The way a relationship is developed between and individual and the society differs according to various beliefs. In China, two common philosophical and religious ideas are Confucianism and Taoism. Confucianism
The region of China is extensive and profound. “In China lay people did not belong to an institutionalized sect, nor did their religious life have anything to do with signing articles of faint. Religion in China was so woven into the broad fabric of family and social life that there was not even a special word for it until modern times, when one was coined to match the Western term” (Thompson, 1). In China, Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism are all blended. In the earliest period, Shang Dynasty (2000 BC), people in China had worshipped a lot of different gods (polytheism) such as weather god, river god. People in the Shang Dynasty believed that their ancestors become like gods after they died, so people worshipped their
The main Chinese religions have many key features. The main religions include shamanism/ancestor reverence, Confucianism, Daoism, Mahayana Buddhism, and idol worship. These 5 religions share some features in common. For example, Chinese popular religion focuses on the human being’s pursuit of health, wealth, and happiness in their lives (quote the textbook). Chinese popular religions want the human to be doing well and succeeding in their day-to-day activities of their lives. Another key component of the main Chinese religions is respecting one’s elders. The religions teach the importance of obeying the commands of the elders and honoring the family name. The Chinese allow place a strong emphasis on the temple. The temple is a place where the people could communicate, understand, and learn about their gods (quote the textbook). The next subsections will be describing the key religious practices of each of the 5 Chinese religions.
The three most important religious beliefs in China were Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. These people believed in many gods, making them polytheistic. Their gods were natural gods, river god, earth god, rain god The most powerful was the sky god, T'ien, the king of all gods.
At the core of any nation’s culture are its religious beliefs. In China there are the “Three Jewels” Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism, as described in Lopez (1996). There are small numbers of people practicing other religions such as Christianity and Islam, but these are the three dominant beliefs of the region. While they are separate in content, they have coexisted for several thousand years. Lopez (1996) goes on to say, “Historical precedent and popular parlance attest to the importance of this threefold division for understanding Chinese culture…Buddhism is the sun, Daoism the moon, and Confucianism the five planets…suggesting that although they remain separate, they also coexist as equally indispensable phenomena of the natural world.” Each belief system stands alone, and at the same time needs the other(s).
Confucianism is one of the main influential ideologies on the Chinese culture. The founder of this religion is Confucius; he was a Chinese teacher. He taught traditional disciplines at that time, and believed that he could change the order of the Chinese society. He has different principals in life. First, Li: “It is the medium within which to talk about the entire body of the mores, or more precisely, have the authentic tradition and reasonable conversations of society” . In other words, li is the social rituals between people and they are divided into different categorized relationships like father and son, filial piety, between brothers, husband and wife; Ruler and subjects, and between friends. The Second principal was Jen, which is humaneness; it describes the inner personality of a person and that people should practice respect to one another. Li and Jen are values that complete each other to create the superior man, according to the Confucius. Also, Confucius believed in the spirits but keeping them at a distance. There are Five Classics and the Four Books are regarded as a reference for Confucianism.
We have covered the general accounts of human nature found in Confucianism and Taoism in light of the historical backdrop of the Period of Warring States. Use your responses to the following general questions below as an opportunity to refer either to the Smith text and accompanying assigned scriptures(s), Smith video(s) on China, Confucianism, and Taoism, or any additional material covered in class. Look ahead to the next question on the chun tzu in order to plan on avoiding repetition of answers verbatim within each essay if there are areas of potential overlap.
Throughout Chinese history there has been three main religions or philosophies that were practiced by all within the empire. These include Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism. Wu-Ch’Êng-Ên is able to depict all of these religions in his novel which is considered a traditional Chinese folk tale “A journey to the West” or also known as “Monkey.” This folk novel depicts the main character Monkey and his journey through life and then later including that of a Buddhist monk Tripitaka, Pigsy and Sandy. All are considered to be examples of human characteristics and flaws of human character, yet all are on a pilgrimage which will ultimately transform their character. Each journey and section of the novel incorporates different aspects of each of the religions which eventually prove to be intertwined in order to attain success and balance.
In “The Daodejing,” Laozi, similar to many prominent Chinese philosophers before and after his time, discusses his unique perspective of the “Way.” There is much controversy, however, regarding whether Laozi was the actual author of this text or was even a real person, and “his” work is thought to have been a composite. (For the purpose of clarity, throughout this paper, the author(s) of “The Daodejing” will be mentioned as Laozi.) Laozi’s vision of the “Way” is exceptionally challenging to define using words because of its metaphysical nature. Although this term is somewhat difficult to envision, it is what mankind should aspire and take action to be aligned with. According to Laozi, in “readings in Classical Chinese Philosophy,” the “Way” (or dao) is the “source, sustenance, and ideal state of all things in the world” (Laozi 158). It can be best thought of as the underlying guiding force of all events that occur in the universe, and mankind is closer to the “Way” when they realize that all things are interconnected and have an effect on one another. As might be expected, this vague definition isn’t a foolproof depiction of the eighty-one chapters in the “Daodejing,” but one is able to grasp a basic understanding of Laozi’s ineffable doctrine. Although numerous chapters are meaningful and could provide substantial analysis, this paper will focus in on Chapter Twelve. Ultimately, this chapter adequately and efficaciously compresses the teachings of “The Daodejing” into
Confucianism is regarded as one of the primary religions that have profoundly influenced Chinese beliefs and ideologies. While Kongzi, or Confucius, is the founder of Confucianism, he is not the only philosopher who has contributed to such a significant impact on China. Similarly, the Analects of Confucius is not the single text that represents Confucianism. In fact, during different time periods throughout the history, there are a number of eminent representatives of Confucian thoughts, such as Mengzi and Xunzi. Because Confucianism aims at eliminating chaos and maintaining order in a harmonious society , they all agree that the guidance and education of virtuous Confucian pioneers are of extreme importance to achieve this
In Chinese history, there were three main philosophies: Confucianism, Taoism, and Legalism. These beliefs helped shape Chinese culture as well as Chinese history. Not only did people believe in these ideas, but the three helped to govern the mighty Chinese dynasties. These dynasties all provided an impact to each doctrine; the philosophy that had the greatest impact was legalism because it ended the Warring States Period, provided structure, and strengthened agriculture, and the military of China. Although Confucianism, Taoism and Legalism had a few things in common and at times tried to resolve the same problem, they were very different from each other in their beliefs, character, and ways of life.
The religions, Confucianism and Taoism, both originate from indigenous Chinese beliefs and practices. Although they come from the same area in the world, they have several differences alongside their similarities. Additionally, they both are influenced by the Tao; however, they have different meanings behind the concept. Taoism can be summed up as appreciating all that is natural; whereas Confucianism is ideal society model created through a lifetime of relationship dedication. Neither of these religions worship a “god,” but they do have their own unique form of worship. The likenesses and differences of Confucianism and Taoism can be found in their beliefs and concepts of self-cultivation, texts, and society and nature.