Chinese Traditional Religion

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Religious practice in China today has elements as old as the Shang and Zhou dynasties and, dating from the Song dynasty (960–1279 CE), is marked syncretism–the combining of different forms of belief or practice. A good example is the construction of temple altars. It’s not uncommon to find Buddhist and Confucian figures in a Daoist temple. Nor is it extraordinary to see a self-professed Buddhist offer incense at a Daoist temple to a historical figure known for his Confucian virtues. China has been a multi-religion country since the ancient times. It is well known that Confucianism is an indigenous religion and is the soul of Chinese culture, which enjoyed popular support among people and even became the guiding ideology for feudalism society, but it did not develop into a national belief. It makes the culture more tolerant to others, thus, many other religions have been brought into the country in different dynasties, but none of them developed powerful enough in the history of China and they only provide diverse people more spiritual support. Confucianism, not a real religion, is just an ethical and philosophical system, which developed from Confucius’ thoughts and later was treated as a kind of belief to educate common people. Confucianism is a Chinese ethical and philosophical system developed from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius ("Master Kong", 551–479 BC). The Confucius’ teachings contained the beginning of a system of thought and behavior that developed into a sophisticated ethico-religious tradition. Confucianism was adopted by the Han dynasty (206 B.C.E-220 C.E.) as the intellectual basis for its system of government and its educational program for training officials. Confucius emphasized principles for self-guidance. The key to producing a harmonious life, he wrote, is in how we treat others–our ancestors, leaders, parents, spouses, neighbors, and friends. Two other concepts that were predominant in Confucius’s worldview were Tian...
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