Religions in China

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Religions in China
When it comes to religions, many people cite Confucianism(儒教), Taoism(道教), and Buddhism(佛教) as the three major religions in China. Those who hold this view are misguided.

Confucianism, founded by China's most respected teacher and philosopher, Confucius(孔子), is not a religion. It is merely an ethical and moral code of conduct that the Chinese have been following for more than 2,000 years. The core value of this school of thought centers around one Chinese word, "ren(仁)," which means "benevolence," "humanity," or "kindness" in Chinese.

Taoism started out like Confucianism as a way of life. Its founder, Lao Zi, encouraged his followers to observe and seek to understand the laws of nature. Lao Zi was born around the time as Confucius. He believed that everything in the universe, including human life, followed a pre-determined path (or "tao" in Chinese). Thus, it would be better if a person did not complicate the matter by interfering as an event unfolded. When applied to day-to-day life, Lao Zi urged emperors to assert little or no codified laws over their subjects. He objected to wars and disliked violence.

Buddhism, founded by an Indian around 500 B.C., arrived in China around the first century. Its teachings urge people to perform good and wholesome actions, and to avoid bad and harmful ones. By adhering to the principles described in the Buddhist scriptures, a person is promised to be free of suffering.

Aside from Taoism and Buddhism, China also had sizeable followings in Christianity and Islam. Both religions arrived in China around the 7th century. There are total about 100 millions believers for all religions in China.
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