A Comparison of Confucianism to Judaism

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A Comparison of Confucianism to Judaism
Confucianism is similar to Judaism in that the requirements of followers are nearly nonexistent, but the two religions differ in factors of origin and ideas on gender relations.
To begin, Confucianism and Judaism originated in entirely different manners. Confucianism was founded in China by Kong Qiu, (later Latinized to Confucius), who did not live to see his ideas become an actual religion. Formed in 500 B.C.E., the faith is much younger than Judaism. Judaism was born in Canaan in 2000 B.C.E., without a real, single founder. Instead, it is said that the patriarchs (who received God's laws,) described in the Torah were the original figures of this religion. While even in the start, Confucianism was a universalizing religion; the "people of Israel" were the first to practice Judaism.

The religions also present differences in their specific opinions about gender relations. In Jewish law, the duties of men and women in everyday life are equally important, even though these duties are not the same. In this way, females are very much viewed as "separate but equal". In some instances in the Torah, matriarchs were actually viewed as above patriarchs, such as in the story of the golden calf in which men committed the sin of worshipping idols but women did not, remaining pure. On the other hand, Confucianism sees women as at the bottom of the hierarchal pyramid. Women were considered inferior to first their fathers and brothers, then to their husbands, and eventually to their sons. Aristocratic men and women also lived in separate homes.

However, both Judaism and Confucianism require little to no mandatory practice by followers. These two religions place a stronger emphasis on knowledge and the capacity to do what is right than constant prayer. Reformed Judaism simply asks adherents to honor their ethical responsibilities and believe in a single god. Likewise, one of the main teachings of Confucianism is the Golden Rule,...
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