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Section 2 Confucius and His Teachings

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1 Section 2 Confucius and His Teachings
Chapter 5 Ancient China

2 Objectives Learn about the life of Confucius.
Find out about the teachings of Confucius. Understand the influence of Confucianism had on Chinese society.

3 Vocabulary Confucius ( B.C.) a Chinese philosopher and teacher whose beliefs had a great influence on Chinese life. philosophy a system of beliefs and values civil service the group of people whose job it is to carry out the work of the government

4 Confucius (c. 551 – 479 B.C.) Chinese teacher and philosopher. Founder of the religion Confucianism. The religion is based on the writings and teaching of Confucius. Most stories contain a moral message.

5 Life of Confucius Confucius was the most famous and important of the early Chinese thinkers. The Chinese called him Kong Fu Zi or “Master Kong.”

6 Early Years Confucius was born in 551 BC to a noble but poor family of the North China Plain. He loved learning and was mostly self-taught. After he failed to succeed at advancing in government, he began to teach.

7 Pioneer Teacher Many historians think that Confucius was China’s first professional teacher because he charged a fee for students. Confucius taught his students his views on government and life. He searched for a ruler that would follow his teachings but he died having never found one. He thought he was a failure.

8 Reading Check What kind of student did Confucius like to teach? Confucius liked to teach students who were eager to learn.

9 Teachings of Confucius
Confucius did not claim his teachings to be original. He thought his teachings were the works of wise men before him. He hoped to bring peace, stability, and prosperity to China’s kingdoms.

10 Confucianism Confucius himself never wrote down his teachings.
Instead, his students gathered a collection of his sayings after his death. His writings became a philosophy – system of beliefs and values, that became known as Confucianism.

11 Bringing Order to Society
The goal of Confucius was to bring peace and order to China. He lived during a time where Chinese kingdoms were fighting for control. Confucius believed that if people could behave correctly toward one another, peace would come.

12 Respecting Others Confucius taught that people should know their place in life and society. They should respect people above and below them. The Five Relationships Ruler and Ruled Father and Son Husband and Wife Older Brother and Younger Brother Friend and Friend


14 Religious Traditions Although Confucianism is a philosophy, it has been a religion for many people. Many Chinese used Confucianism along with other religions. Taoism supported the ideas of living a balanced life with nature. Taoism is based on the writings of Laozi, who lived in the 500s BC.

15 Reading Check Describe the religious traditions of ancient China. Ancient China was home to a variety of religious traditions, including ancestor worship, honoring gods, and belief in spirits. Most people believed that life should be lived in harmony with nature, including the members of Taoism, a religion based on the writings of a Chinese thinker named Laozi.

16 Influence of Confucius
The teachings of Confucius came to have a major effect on Chinese government. The teachings became part of the basic training for members of civil service – a group of people who carry out the work of government.

17 A Merit System After the teachings of Confucius, the Chinese merit system was used. Before government jobs were given to the sons of powerful men.

18 Rising to High Positions
The examination system did not open government jobs to everyone. Candidates still had to know how to read. This law made it difficult for the poor man to enter government.

19 Reading Check Why was it difficult for poor men to work in the civil service? Civil servants had to know how to read. Many poor men did not have the opportunity to learn to read.

20 Section 2 Assessment 1. (a) Recall How did Confucius become a teacher?
Confucius could not get a government post and decided to try teaching.

21 1. (b) Transfer Information
Confucius would teach only those students who wanted to learn. How does his rule apply to your experience as a student? Today, laws require all children to go to school, whether they want to or not. Students who did not want to learn would waste the teacher’s time.

22 2. (a) List What were the basic teachings of Confucius? Basic teachings included: behave properly to one another so that order and peace return to society, know their place in society, respect those above and below them and treat each other justly, set a good example if they are in a position of authority, and not do unto others what they would not want done to themselves.

23 2. (b) Explain Why did Confucius think it was important to teach rulers how to behave? It was important for rulers to be good, so that his people would follow his example.

24 3. (a) Describe How did the ideas of Confucius change the way civil servants were chosen in ancient China? Confucius taught that men should be chosen based on merit rather than their family connections.

25 3. (b) Predict Confucius hoped to become a government worker, but he became a teacher instead. Do you think his influence on Chinese society would have been different if he had gotten his wish? Explain your answer. No, he might have spread his ideas by example instead of by teaching. Yes, he might have been absorbed in his job and not had time to develop his philosophy.

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