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Kevin J. Benoy (Derived from Susan M. Pojer – Confucianism, Legalism, Daoism) Chinese Belief Systems.

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Presentation on theme: "Kevin J. Benoy (Derived from Susan M. Pojer – Confucianism, Legalism, Daoism) Chinese Belief Systems."— Presentation transcript:

1 Kevin J. Benoy (Derived from Susan M. Pojer – Confucianism, Legalism, Daoism) Chinese Belief Systems

2 K ’ ung Fu-Tse (Confucius)

3 K ’ ung fu-Tse *Lived from 551- 479 BC in Liu (one of the warring states of China). *Did not found a religion, rather, he taught a way of living. *He taught and hoped in vain to achieve political office.

4 Li --> Rite, rules, ritual decorum (Binding force of an enduring stable society) Ren --> humaneness, benevolence, humanity Shu --> Reciprocity, empathy Do not do unto others what you would not want others to do unto you. Yi --> Righteousness Xiao --> Filial Piety (Respect for elders)

5 1. Ruler Subject 2. Father Son 3. Husband Wife 4. Older Brother Younger Brother 5. Older Friend Younger Friend

6 * Status * Age * Gender


8 * The single most important Confucian work. * In Chinese, it means “conversation.” * Focus on practicalities of interpersonal relationships and the relationship of the role of rulers and ministers to the conduct of government.

9 *Knowing what he knows and knowing what he doesn’t know, is characteristics of the person who knows. * Making a mistake and not correcting it, is making another mistake. * The superior man blames himself; the inferior man blames others. * To go too far is as wrong as to fall short.


11 In Shensi Province

12 Men K0 ( aka Men Ke or Mencius) * lived from 372 - 289 B.C.E. * Disciple of Confucius. * Assumed that “people are basically good.” * If someone does something bad, education, not punishment, is the answer. ä Good people will mend their ways in accordance to their inherent goodness.

13 * The emperor should set the example with proper behavior. * Social relationships are based on “rites” or “rituals.” * Even religious rituals are important for SOCIAL, not religious reasons, according to Confucius.

14 Legalism (The belief system of the Ch’in Emperor Shih Huang Ti)

15 *280? - 233 B.C.E. * Han Fei Tsu. * Lived during the late Warring States period. * Legalism became the political philosophy of the Qin [Ch’in] Dynasty. Han Fei Tzu

16 1. Human nature is naturally selfish. 2. Intellectualism and literacy is discouraged. 3. Law is the supreme authority and replaces morality. 4. The ruler must rule with a strong, punishing hand. 5. War is the means of strengthening a ruler’s power.

17 Individuals should obey powerful authority rather than exercise individual freedom. The ruler, therefore, “cracks his whip” on the backs of his subjects! Ch’in Emperor – Shih Huang Ti


19 * Lived around 604- 531 BC. * His name means “Old Master.” * His real name was Li Erh. * Some say he was K’ung Fu Tze’s teacher.

20 * The basic text of Taoism. * In Chinese, it means The Classic in the Way and Its Power. * “Those who speak know nothing: Those who know are silent.” These words, I am told, Were spoken by Laozi. If we are to believe that Laozi, Was himself one who knew, How is it that he wrote a book, Of five thousand words?

21 1. Dao [Tao] is the first-cause of the universe. It is a force that flows through all life. 2. A believer’s goal is to become one with Dao; one with nature. [“The butterfly or the man?” story.] 3. Wu wei --> “Let nature take its course.” --> “The art of doing nothing.” --> “Go with the flow!” 4. Man is unhappy because he lives acc. to man-made laws, customs, & traditions that are contrary to the ways of nature.

22 1. Rejecting formal knowledge and learning. 2. Relying on the senses and instincts. 3. Discovering the nature and “rhythm” of the universe. 4. Ignoring political and social laws. To escape the “social, political, & cultural traps” of life, one must escape by:

23 * Feminine * Passive * Darkness * Cold * Weak * Earth; Moon *Masculine * Active * Light * Warmth * Strong * Heaven; Sun

24 How is a man to live in a world dominated by chaos, suffering, and absurdity? Confucianism --> Moral order in society. Legalism --> Rule by harsh law & order. Daoism --> Freedom for individuals and less govt. to avoid uniformity and conformity.


26 Buddhism came to China from India  Buddhism probably arrived in China during the Han period as the Silk Road opened up trade.  In some ways it is similar to Taoism in its respect for life.  However, its rejection of worldly desires and family ran against traditional Chinese beliefs.

27 Buddhism in china  Despite its differences, Buddhism found a strong following.  Many Chinese practice elements of it and other belief systems.  Peasants found comfort in its teachings about pain and suffering.  Buddhism even survived Communist rule.

28 The essence of Buddhism  The “middle way of wisdom and compassion.”  2,500 year old tradition.  The 3 jewels of Buddhism:  Buddha, the teacher.  Dharma, the teachings.  Sangha, the community.

29 Siddhartha Gautama (563-483 BCE)  Born in NE India (Nepal).  Raised in great luxury to be a king.  At 29 he rejected his luxurious life to seek enlightenment and the source of suffering.  Lived a strict, ascetic life for 6 yrs.  Rejecting this extreme, sat in meditation, and found nirvana.  Became “The Enlightened One,” at 35.

30 What is the fundamental cause of all suffering? Desire!  Therefore, extinguish the self, don’t obsess about oneself.

31 Four Noble Truths 1. There is suffering in the world. To live is to suffer. (Dukkha)  The Buddha found this out when he was young and experienced suffering and death in others.

32 Four Noble Truths 2. The cause of suffering is self- centered desire and attachments. (Tanha)

33 Four Noble Truths 3. The solution is to eliminate desire and attachments. (Nirvana = “extinction”)

34 Four Noble Truths 4. To reach nirvana, one must follow the Eightfold Path.

35 Eightfold Path Nirvana  The union with the ultimate spiritual reality.  Escape from the cycle of rebirth.

36 Mandala: Wheel of Life Motif

37 Types of Buddhism  Therevada Buddhism  Mahayana Buddhism  Tibetan Buddhism  Zen Buddhism

38 Theravada Buddhism  The oldest school of Buddhism.  The “Way of the Elders” or the “Small Vehicle.”  Found in southern Asia.  The monastic life is the best way to achieve nirvana.  Focus on wisdom and meditation.  Goal is to become a “Buddha,” or “Enlightened One.”  Over 100,000,000 followers today.

39 Theravada Buddhism

40 Mahayana Buddhism  The “Great Vehicle.”  Founded in northern Asia (China, Japan).  Buddhism “for the masses.”  Seek guidance from Boddhisatvas, wise beings.  Goal: Not just individual escape from the wheel, but the salvation of all humanity through self- sacrifice of those enlightened few.

41 Mahayana Buddhism

42 Tibetan Buddhism  The “Diamond Vehicle.” [Vajrayana]  Developed in Tibet in the 7c CE.  A mix of Theravada and Mahayana.  Boddhisatvas include Lamas, like the Dalai Lama.  The Tibetan Book of the Dead [Bardo Thodol].

43 The Dalai Lama

44 zen Buddhism  The “Meditation School.” Popular in Japan  Seeks sudden enlightenment [satori] through meditation, arriving at emptiness [sunyata].  Use of meditation masters [Roshi].  Beauty, art, and aesthetics:  Gardens.  Archery.  Tea ceremony.  Calligraphy.


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