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Comparing Confucianism and Christianity Essay

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Comparing Confucianism and Christianity

The premise of Confucian teachings are centered around the idea of Jen or the ³virtue of humanity (Ching 68).² To accomplish this divinity, five relationships must be honored: ruler and minister, father and son, husband and wife, elder and younger brother, and friend and friend (Hopfe). These relationships led a push for a revolution of the political system to adopt the methods of Jen. Confucius sought to revive the ancient Chinese culture by redefining the importance of society and government. He described a society governed by ³reasonable, humane, and just sensibilities, not by the passions of individuals arbitrarily empowered by hereditary status² (Clearly). He felt that this
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Several scholars believe that his Heaven was analogous to the God unto which Christians served. Christians feel that in order to also gain a Jen-like status one must have a serious relationship with the church and Jesus Christ himself. Confucius differed in that they feel that the body, mind and soul must be recognized as one to reach Jen (Smith).
Through education or ritual practices one gains wealth. With wealth one achieved power. These are the essentials to living a good life (O'Briére).
However, relationships between men is the most desirable. These aspects are the embodiment of Li. Li was love for authority and respect for others (Alexander).
Christianity also looks at wealth in a slightly different manner. ³At the heart of the Christian faith and at its source of its traditions in Scripture is the belief in a covenant (Carmen 17).² It is the promise between God and the individual that ensures (through faith) that one's kindly actions on Earth will be divinely awarded. The five relationships of Jen are also honored in
Christianity with references to ³Honor thy father and mother, for this is the first commandment with promise (Ephesians 6:1).² It is prevalent that Christianity and Confucius are very similar in their philosophy. Some would argue that Confucius lack of a strong theology is its failure to comply with the Christian ethics. Others would say it is there
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