Confucian Ren

Topics: Confucianism, Confucius, Ritual Pages: 2 (725 words) Published: April 29, 2009
Asian Religions Confucianism Confucius discusses the idea of ren or “co-humanity” within the texts of The Analects. Ren is one of the most important virtues you can have according to Confucianism. This virtue very much translates into family loyalty, ritual virsuosity, and conduct of society; these things, in part, make up someone’s ren. Ren starts at the most basic level such as loyalty to your family, then to the rituals you carry out, and also to how you act within a society. Also in Confucian belief, the ability to cultivate and enhance human relationships is one of the most important things in their day to day life. They believe this because they think the only thing that makes you who you are is your individual network of human relationships, therefore if you work hard to have good relationships, that makes you a good person. “It is rare for a man whose character is such that he is good as a son and obedient as a young man to have the inclination to transgress against his superiors; it is unheard of for one who has no such inclination to be inclined to start a rebellion. The gentleman devotes his efforts to the roots, for once the roots are established, the Way will growtherefrom. Being good as a son and obedient as a young man is, perhaps, the root of a man’s character.”(Koller, 1991). This quote is talking about ren, and how it starts at the personal level. Family, in the Confucian beliefs, is the network that is the root to all your other relationships. If you have good family loyalty chances are you will be a good person with a strong network of human relationships. The idea of ren or “co-humanity” is a virtue that not only can be applied to family loyalty but also to ritual virtuosity. In Confucian belief, rites or rituals are a way of enhancing relationships and creating harmony. They believe harmony cannot be achieved by ignoring the importance of ritual. “Of things brought about by rites, harmony is the most valuable. Of the ways of the Former...
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