R4E130729 – Confucianism and Taoism (World Religions Study Lesson) by Douglas Jacoby
CONFUCIANISM & TAOISM
Note: both these systems may be viewed more as philosophies than as religions, although Taoism incorporates a lot of traditional Chinese folk religion (magic practices, ancestor worship, etc).
- c.500 BC
- Wu Ching, Ssu Shu (Analects)
- China, Taiwan, and other nations where Chinese emigrants have settled.
- c.550 BC
- Lao Tse
- Tao Te Ching
- China and elsewhere in the Chinese diaspora
- “If there is righteousness in the heart,
there will be beauty in the character;
if there is beauty in the character,
there will be harmony in the home;
if there is harmony in the home, there will be order in the nation;
if there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.”—Chinese proverb
- Ancestor worship: “While parents are alive, serve them according to ritual. When they die, bury them according to ritual and sacrifice to them according to ritual.” —Analects of Confucius 2:5. Generally offerings to individual ancestors are made only to the last 3 or 4 generations. For earlier ancestors, collective offerings are made.
Outreach tips for Confucianists & Taoists (traditional Chinese culture):
- Teach them about the personal God of the Bible
- Discuss the father-relationship, as such an exploration can help them form a more accurate concept of God.
- And yet we are not to worship our parents, while they are living or after they have died (ancestor worship).
- Appreciate Chinese culture.
- Many Confucian and Taoist ideals are good and right, and we as God’s people can and should be living that way anyway. We should model respect towards parents and authorities, order, a “quiet life” (1 Thessalonians 4), hard work, ecological awareness, and so on.