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Confucius



551 – 479 before Christ
famous Chinese philosopher, man of greatest importance in the history of China, founder of Confucianism
family belonged to low aristocracy
at the age of fifty: municipal council and minister of justice
no original and personal manuscript
centre of his teachings are the 5 virtues: piety, loyalty, justice, reliability and modesty
adored as a spiritual leader, was of his greatest influence for the Chinese philosophy
174 before Christ: Chinese Emperor worshipped him
555 after Christ: temples for Confucius in every provincial capital
1906: equal status as the highest gods
I want to tell you something about Confucius.
Confucius was born in 551 and died in 479 before Christ. He was a famous Chinese philosopher, a man of greatest importance in the history of China and the founder of Confucianism.
We know about Confucius’ that his family belonged to low aristocracy, living in the state Lu which is called the province Shandong today. That is in the east of China.
Narrations tell us about his life. His father, who was the commander of a precinct in Lu, died 3 years after Confucius’ birth and left his family in poverty. Nevertheless Confucius got a good education in honour of his father’s great merits.
In a famous record about the life of Confucius it is claimed that he became municipal council at the age of fifty and one year later he became minister of justice in the state of Lu. Lu was so powerful that the ruler of a neighbouring state took steps to depose the minister. It is not settled if Confucius really strove for power for himself or if he tried to help the rulers to follow the path of virtue by his teachings.
Furthermore there is no original and personal manuscript handed down to us, but his pupils wrote down dialogues and discussions with him.
In the centre of his teachings are the five virtues: piety, loyalty, justice, reliability and modesty. On top of that he taught that everybody should love, admire and honour his parents.
Confucius is adored as a spiritual leader since the end of the second century before Christ. He was of his greatest influence for the Chinese philosophy and still is of greatest importance.
In 174 before Christ a Chinese Emperor first worshipped him at Confucius’ grave in Qufu which still exists today.
Much later, in 555 after Christ, it was given orders by an imperial edict to establish temples for Confucius in every provincial capital.
In 1906 Confucius was given an equal status as the highest gods.
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