The Confucian analects: Part I Part II

Confucianism Confucianism is a Chinese religion based on the teachings of Confucius a philosopher who died about 479 B.C. Confucianism has no organisation or clergy. It does not teach a belief in a deity or the existence of life after death. Confucianism stresses on moral and political ideas. It emphasises on respect for ancestors and Government authorities and teaches that rulers must govern according to high moral standards.

Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism have been the major religions in China. But Confucianism had the greatest impact on the Chinese society. It was the State religion of China from 100 B.C. to 1,900 A.D. Confucius's scriptures called "The Five Classics and Four Books" served as a foundation of the Chinese education system for centuries.

Beginning in the 1,000s, a more philosophical approach to Confucianism, known, as "New Confucianism" became widely popular. New Confucianism also influenced Japanese moral codes and philosophy.

In 1949, the Chinese communists gained control of China. The Government officially condemned Confucianism as well as other religions. As a result, most followers of Confucianism lived outside mainland China. In 1970's, however, the Communist Government relaxed its policy against religion and so, Confucianism enjoyed a revival on the mainland.