Title: Religious History: The Art of Living Well
Instructor: Professor Mark W. Muesse
Why I choose to take this class:
This class is divided into four sections and the actual title is Confucius, Buddha, Jesus and Muhammad. This is the first part of the course and it focuses on Confucius and Confucianism. Confucius is a great Chinese philosopher and his teachings are widely recognized all over Asia and the world. This class will help my critical thinking.
What I learned in the class:
Confucius (551-479 BC) was the most influential and respected philosopher in Chinese history. From 100 BC to the revolution in 1911, his teaching had a strong influence on Chinese society. These ideas are called Confucianism, stress the need to develop moral character and responsibility. Confucius was born in LU, which is now Shandong Province of China. His real name was Kong Qiu. The name Confucius a Latin form of the title KongFuzi which means Great Master Kong. Confucius’s father died when he was a child and he grew in poverty. He failed to become an adviser to a wise ruler. He wanted the position so he could put his ideas of reforming society to work. He received minor official appointments, but at his death, he was largely unknown in China. His disciples spread his teachings. No book was written by Confucius exist. His disciples recorded his conversation and sayings in a book called The Analects.
Confucianism is a philosophy based on the ideas of Confucius. The vales or Confucianism was prevalent in the Western Zhou Dynasty in China from 1045 to 771 BC. Confucianism was the most important force in Chinese culture until 1900’s. It influences art, education, government, literature, personal behavior and philosophy. Many consider Confucianism a religion, through its rituals, it has no clergy and does not teach worship of a god. Confucianism is philosophy which focus on questions about right or wrong.
In the 500 BC When Confucius liver , warfare raged among many states. Rapid political changes altered the structure of society and many no longer respected the traditional standards of social behavior. Confucius fear that this threat to orderly social relationships would lead to destruction of civilization. Confucius believed that society could be saved if it emphasized moral self-cultivation is demonstrated by the action of the Junzi, meaning superior person. Junzi is not necessary an individual of Nobel birth but rather someone with good moral character. Junzi possessed many virtues. They respected their parents. They worked for the good of their family, community and society. Junzi were dedicated to learning, they practiced self-examination to become better. They were guided by traditional rituals and social customs. Confucius also taught a version of the Golden Rule, the principle that people should treat others as they would like to treat themselves. Confucius also professed that the greatest love of a children to their parent was filial piety. Confucius that women also could be Junzi.; Confucius believed that went Junzi ruled, they would inspire those beneath them to lead good lives. Virtuous behavior by rulers, he declared, had a greater effect in governing than did laws and codes of punishment.
After Confucius died, his followers spread his ideas, the most prominent followers were Mencius and Xunzi. Mencius believed people were born with good tendencies. He stressed the need to preserve and develop the natural compassion of the heart that made people human. He also emphasized the past as an ideal time and a model for examining present problems. Xunzi believed that people were born without natural tendencies to become good. He thought they could become good and live together peacefully only if they were reshaped by the right rituals, teachers and traditions. in 124 BC The government established the Imperial University to educate future government officials in Confucius ideals; based on five books of Confucian thought called the Five Classics. Mastery of the Five Classics became proof of moral fitness. Early Confucians considered themselves with needs of society. However, ideals for Taoism and other philosophies shift the emphasis to additional areas like the ability to live in harmony with nature. Taoism and Buddhism gained popularity in AD 200-600. A revival of Confucian philosophy began in 600’s and by 700’s candidates for government jobs had to take a civil service examination based on Confucian Ideas. Belief that an enduring state must be built on virtue of the advisers who counseled its rulers.
How will this class contribute to my success upon release:
This class teaches me to think critically, the rights and wrongs, virtues, family values and how to treat others. These are invaluable lessons that can be applied to my daily life upon my release. Also it teaches me about my heritage.