Kathleen A. Smith
March 2, 2011
Dr. David H. Bolton
Confucianism can be seen as a means to find the balance between opposing qualities
That might otherwise lead to harmony. It divides people into categories, and builds
relationships through rituals and ceremonies, assigning everyone a place in society and a
proper form of behavior. The Five Great Relationships of Confucianism helps to signify
those individuals must live up to their social role and status. But, personal excellence is
manifested from the five virtues; Ren, Li, Shu, Xiao, and Wen.
The Five Great Relationships are determined by personal factors; friendship or
family connection, or by social factors; age or social status. The Father-son is the core
relationship, it represents all parent-child relationships. Parents are expected to help conform
their child with education and are to help in the selection of career and marriage. Child is to be
respectful and obey their parents as they will care for them in there old age. Elder brother-
younger brother relationship is important as an older sibling is required to help raise the younger
sibling which can be helpful in the event a parent passes away. Husband-wife relationship states
that the husband is the authority figure and the protector and the wife is homemaker and mother.
Elder-younger says that older people are responsible for the youngest people, the younger people
need care and formation as well as education. Ruler-subject is the role model to all other
relationships, Confucianism states that social order begins in the home and extends outward. A
ruler must act like a father, caring responsibly for subjects much like his children.
Confucianism ideal person can be form by the five virtues as well. The virtues are comprised of love, education and forming unique talents but most importantly they consist of...
References: Experiencing the World’s Religions: Tradition, Challenge, and Change (5th ed.) (Molloy)
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