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Confucianism filial piety in chinese religion essay

The term "relation" may refer to a variety of concepts, including mathematical relation, physical relation, spiritual relation, natural relation, social relation, cultural relation, and even metaphysical relation.

Among all the mentioned examples, "metaphysical relation" seems the most attractive one, but it is primarily a speculative concept. The other concepts are just specified or even oversimplified. None of these concepts can fit into the relation between filial piety and Chinese culture.

From the viewpoint of confucianism filial piety in chinese religion essay author, a proper concept for this topic is "substantial relation. With these important qualities, substantial relation can perform an important vital function to relate filial piety and Chinese culture in a proper way.

Now, a very important question is: What is filial piety? Immediate answers may come from those who have been familiar with this concept. One answer could be: It is the root or foundation of Chinese culture. It is a unique creation of Chinese culture. These two answers are not mistaken, but they are unclear and not quite to the point. So, the author of this essay will aim toward an interpretation of filial piety through the exploration of Chinese culture. First of all, some relevant characteristics of Chinese culture will be exposed.

Then, the meaning of filial piety will be interpreted. Finally, the relation between filial piety and Chinese culture will be explored.

This has been a significant quality acknowledged by many international scholars. It was about half a century ago, an American scholar, George Rowley, wrote in the preface of his Principles of Chinese Painting characterizing Chinese culture saying: Now, the author of this essay will attempt an exploration of the meaning of being artistic. The most effective method is comparing the artistic with the scientific. But the basic interest of the artistic concentrates in appreciation or creative performance, with the interest of attaining beauty rather than factual truth.

As to the approaching method, the scientific one concentrates on analysis or experimentation, using symbols in a direct or logical way, but the artistic one concentrates on intuition or imagination, with the use of symbols in a suggestive or metaphorical way. In addition, the subject-matter of the scientific has to be factual and rational, but the subject-matter of the artistic does not need to be factual or rational at all.

As to the performance process, the scientific has to be logical and following a definition as well as an experimental order, but the performance of art can ignore this confucianism filial piety in chinese religion essay of logical matter. As to their functional performance, the scientific performs the function to establish knowledge and technology, and the artistic, instead, just nourishes human feeling and establishes some styles of personal action.

In the main, modern Western culture is scientific, but Chinese culture is still artistic, even in common life. A very unusual characteristic of Chinese culture is the dominant function of the artistic, which has controlled other aspects of the culture.

Confucianism filial piety in chinese religion essay

What is relevant to this essay is the influence of the artistic upon the moral aspect of life. In a certain sense, Chinese morality has been shaped and established by the function of the artistic. At the same time, this artistic function has provided an opportunity for the birth and growth of filial piety.

The morality of Chinese culture has the following four qualities: The first quality has been explained in this essay to some extent. The second one is related to the first, but is also related to the major theme of this essay.

Chinese humanism in morality, exhibits itself as a major contrast to the morality of the traditional Western world. In traditional West, the ultimate moral authority is God or Spirit. All the moral rules are based on this Spirit.

But in Chinese culture, the ultimate moral authority is still the human world. In a certain sense, Chinese morality has transcended the world of spirits or the world of religion. This means, in Chinese culture, the practice of moral life is not following the spiritual authority or God, but to follow humanistic reflection and sensitivity.

As to the third quality, self-control is the control of oneself without following God or Spirit. This quality is not possessed in the same way by individuals of the traditional Western world since they need to obey God or Spiritual Authority.

As to "harmonization," it is also a Chinese artistic moral action. This confucianism filial piety in chinese religion essay action represents an interest of acceptance of varieties of ideas and ways of performance. It is in fact a very important condition for the growth of social life. To sum up, characteristics of Chinese culture are too many to mention.

What we can do in this essay is just selecting what is relevant to filial piety. The relevant aspects include what is artistic, what is naturally humanistic, and what is special interest for promoting humanistic morality. Filial Piety is just a natural product of these cultural qualities, and itself, is also a cultural quality of Chinese culture. What is Filial Piety? This question appears so general that it could be interpreted in many different ways.

  1. It is a unique creation of Chinese culture. The term "chiao" originally as well as currently means "teaching" and "religion".
  2. Filial Piety is just a natural product of these cultural qualities, and itself, is also a cultural quality of Chinese culture.
  3. The answer given in last section is that "Filial Piety is the leading principle or fundamental basis of Chinese morality.
  4. These two answers are not mistaken, but they are unclear and not quite to the point.

Because of many different meanings of the question, there could be many different answers. Now, we have to set a limit on this question. This limit consists in the relevance of filial piety to Chinese culture. So, we can ask specific questions instead of a general one. A specific question which is relevant could be: What is the position of filial piety in Chinese culture?

This question could confucianism filial piety in chinese religion essay considered relevant to the major theme of this essay. An immediate answer could be: Filial piety is a kind of natural feeling. But this answer is not yet to the point, since there are many types of natural feeling in human life. So, we have to ask another question specifically: What is the unique quality of filial piety in Chinese culture? A proper answer could be: It is composed of natural sensitivity, caring love, sincere concern, and even natural respect.

In fact, all these are natural consciousness toward an immediately related person--a parent. These feelings, in Chinese culture, are not products of a Spirit. So, we can also say, that these feelings are humanistic, because they are the product of purely human beings. Now, let us move from the natural to the cultural.

Culturally filial piety is the leading principle or fundamental basis of Chinese morality. Before dealing with filial piety, let us ask a simple question: The question itself appears very simple, but the answers can be complicated.

In the current Western world, some maintain that the source of morality is reason. Some maintain that it is sympathy, and some insist on the ultimate value of universal love. There are still many other answers. But in Chinese culture, morality consists in value judgments based on human relations. Filial piety just refers to the most immediate and necessary human relation. An individual, as usual, could have many types of human relations. Examples may include relations with friends, cousins, brothers, sisters, uncles and aunts.

But none of these relations are more immediate or necessary than the relation of a child to his parents. So, filial piety is the most fundamental relational basis from which other types of moral feelings are developed. Confucius clearly confirmed this point saying: The relation between filial piety and human life is also a substantial topic. Now, for the sake of relevance and for the sake of simplifying selection, we are going to explore how filial piety performs its action in life.

The most relevant aspect is its position in family life.

  1. In this mutual-creative process, both filial piety and Chinese culture are interacting together, and even integrated together.
  2. So, Chinese family life is, in reality, the life of filial piety. From the viewpoint of the author, the essence of a religion should possess.
  3. What is the unique quality of filial piety in Chinese culture? So, Buddhism is totally different from other religions of the world.

Family has been an extremely important substance of Chinese society. Family is naturally prior to society or country. Integration of family is a necessary starting point for attaining a well-controlled country or a peaceful world.

So, Chinese family life is, in reality, the life of filial piety. Even up to now, Chinese families are still controlled by the reflective power of the concept of filial piety. In addition to its control of family life, filial piety has also powerfully controlled the social life and many other aspects of Chinese culture.

So, filial piety is not only a foundation of morality, but also a fundamental basis of Chinese culture. The main theme of last section is "the position of filial piety in Chinese culture.

What is the position? The answer given in last section is that "Filial Piety is the leading principle or fundamental basis of Chinese morality. First of all, a very important relation between the two is their mutual creation. Instead of being created by God or a Super-Spirit, filial piety has been a product created by Chinese culture.

In traditional West, moral principles, in general, are created by God or Spiritual Authority. But in China, all the principles are products of human culture, or cultural creation.