Neo-Confucianism

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Neo-Confucianism

Throughout China’s history, the philosophy bestowed by Confucius has provided a life structure for the people of China. The works of this great philosopher have managed to entwine with the people, and has survived the countless rise and fall of multiple dynasties. This is not to say the acceptance of the philosophies has been stagnant. On the contrary, along the way the Confusion philosophies have been shaped, molded and influenced by other religions and thought processes, which have imposed an impact on the overall beliefs and dictates of Confucianism. The creation of this combination of ideas and religions as it built upon the Confucian base is known as neo-Confucianism. Although most of neo-Confucianism is derived from the original works of Confucius, there are a couple aspects that changed with the influences of time as well as the teachings of Buddhism and Daoism. Starting around the 600th century, the civil service exam was introduced in China, the exam revolutionized the structure of government in china forever. Then, in the 11th century, a focus on morality and human nature emerged as prominent attributes, and this focus also had a powerful impact on cultural behaviors. Finally, all of these forces collected and merged, and a century later, the idea of vital force influenced the emergence of neo-Confucianism.

Around the beginning of the 700th century, the government started to base the hiring of their officials from the results of taking an exam known as the Civil Service exam. The test focused on the beliefs and knowledge of the individuals in the official religion, Confucianism because it was believed that a successful government must be ruled according to Confusion ideas. In order for an applicant to be accepted into an official government position and rank, they had to pass the test. The people who were able to pass these exams were known as scholar-gentry and they held all the positions in the bureaucracy. The civil...
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