The Confucian church is a Confucian religious and social institution of the congregational type. It was first proposed by Kang Youwei in the last years of the 19th century, as a state religion of Qing China on the model of Europe; the "Confucian church" model was continued amongst overseas Chinese communities, who established independent Confucian churches active on the local level in Indonesia and the United States. In contemporary China, since 2000, there has been a revival of Confucianism with the proliferation of Confucian academies, the opening and reopening of temples of Confucius, the new phenomenon of grassroots Confucian communities or congregations and renewed talks about a national "Confucian church". A national Holy Confucian Church was established with the participation of many Confucian leaders on November 1, 2015; the idea of a "Confucian Church" as the state religion of China was proposed in detail by Kang Youwei as part of an early New Confucian search for a regeneration of the social relevance of Confucianism, at a time when it was de-institutionalised with the collapse of the Qing dynasty and the Chinese empire.
Kang modeled his ideal "Confucian Church" after European national Christian churches, as a hierarchical and centralised institution bound to the state, with local church branches, Sunday prayers and choirs, missions and baptism sometimes, devoted to the worship and the spread of the teachings of Confucius. The large community of Confucian literati who were left bereft of a ritual and organisational outlet for their values and identity after the dissolution of state Confucianism, supported such projects. Similar models were followed by various newly created Confucian folk religious sects, such as the Xixinshe, the Daode Xueshe, the Wanguo Daodehui; the Confucian Church was founded by a disciple of Kang, Chen Huanzhang, in 1912, within a few years it established 132 branches countrywise. From 1913 to 1916, an important debate took place whether Confucianism should become the state religion and as such inscribed in the constitution of China; this didn't occur, anti-religious campaigns mounting in the 1920s led to a dissolution of the Confucian church.
While Kang's idea was not realised in China, it was carried forward in Hong Kong and amongst overseas Chinese peoples. The Hong Kong branch of Kang's movement took the name of "Confucian Academy", while the Indonesian branch became the Supreme Council for the Confucian Religion in Indonesia. Members believe in Tian with Confucius as the prophet. Chinese people in the United States established independent, local Confucian churches such as the Confucius Church of Sacramento or the Confucius Church of Salinas. In contemporary China, the Confucian revival has developed into different, yet interwoven, directions: the proliferation of Confucian academies, the resurgence of Confucian rites, the birth of new forms of Confucian activity on the popular level, such as the Confucian communities; some scholars consider the reconstruction of Chinese lineage associations and their ancestral shrines, as well as cults and temples of natural and national gods within broader Chinese traditional religion, as part of the revival of Confucianism.
Other forms of revival are folk religious or salvationist religious groups with a Confucian focus or Confucian churches, for example the Yidan xuetang based in Beijing, the Mengmutang of Shanghai, the Way of the Gods according to the Confucian Tradition or Phoenix Churches, the Confucian Fellowship in northern Fujian which has spread over the years after its foundation, ancestral shrines of the Kong family operating as well as Confucian-teaching churches. The Hong Kong Confucian Academy has expanded its activities to the mainland, with the construction of statues of Confucius, Confucian hospitals, restoration of temples and sponsorship of other activities. In 2009 Zhou Beichen founded another institution that inherits the idea of Kang Youwei's Confucian Church, the Holy Hall of Confucius in Shenzhen affiliated with the Federation of Confucian Culture of Qufu, the first of a nationwide movement of congregations and civil organisations, unified in 2015 by the Holy Confucian Church. Chinese folk religion's temples and kinship ancestral shrines on special occasion may choose Confucian liturgy led by Confucian ritual masters to worship the gods enshrined, instead of Taoist or popular ritual.
"Confucian businessmen", is a recovered term to identify people of the entrepreneurial or economic elite who recognise their social responsibility and therefore apply Confucian culture to their business. Contemporary New Confucian scholars Jiang Qing and Kang Xiaoguang are amongst the most influential supporters of institutionalising the Confucian revival as a national "Confucian Church". Jiang Qing is the current spiritual leader of the Holy Confucian Church. Confucian Fellowship Daode Xueshe Holy Confucian Church Kongdaoshe Kong Meng Xuehui Kong Meng Shengdao Hui Mengmutang Ruists' Society and Ruist Masters' Society, two modern networks of Confucians in mainland China Ru
The Edo period or Tokugawa period is the period between 1603 and 1868 in the history of Japan, when Japanese society was under the rule of the Tokugawa shogunate and the country's 300 regional daimyō. The period was characterized by economic growth, strict social order, isolationist foreign policies, a stable population, "no more wars", popular enjoyment of arts and culture; the shogunate was established in Edo on March 24, 1603, by Tokugawa Ieyasu. The period came to an end with the Meiji Restoration on May 1868, after the fall of Edo. A revolution took place from the time of the Kamakura shogunate, which existed with the Tennō's court, to the Tokugawa, when the samurai became the unchallenged rulers in what historian Edwin O. Reischauer called a "centralized feudal" form of shogunate. Instrumental in the rise of the new-existing bakufu was Tokugawa Ieyasu, the main beneficiary of the achievements of Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Powerful, Ieyasu profited by his transfer to the rich Kantō area.
He maintained two million koku of land, a new headquarters at Edo, a strategically situated castle town, had an additional two million koku of land and thirty-eight vassals under his control. After Hideyoshi's death, Ieyasu moved to seize control from the Toyotomi clan. Ieyasu's victory over the western daimyō at the Battle of Sekigahara gave him control of all Japan, he abolished numerous enemy daimyō houses, reduced others, such as that of the Toyotomi, redistributed the spoils of war to his family and allies. Ieyasu still failed to achieve complete control of the western daimyō, but his assumption of the title of shōgun helped consolidate the alliance system. After further strengthening his power base, Ieyasu installed his son Hidetada as shōgun and himself as retired shōgun in 1605; the Toyotomi were still a significant threat, Ieyasu devoted the next decade to their eradication. In 1615, the Tokugawa army destroyed the Toyotomi stronghold at Osaka; the Tokugawa period brought 250 years of stability to Japan.
The political system evolved into what historians call bakuhan, a combination of the terms bakufu and han to describe the government and society of the period. In the bakuhan, the shōgun had national authority and the daimyō had regional authority; this represented a new unity in the feudal structure, which featured an large bureaucracy to administer the mixture of centralized and decentralized authorities. The Tokugawa became more powerful during their first century of rule: land redistribution gave them nearly seven million koku, control of the most important cities, a land assessment system reaping great revenues; the feudal hierarchy was completed by the various classes of daimyō. Closest to the Tokugawa house were the shinpan, or "related houses", they were twenty-three daimyō on the borders of Tokugawa lands. The shinpan held honorary titles and advisory posts in the bakufu; the second class of the hierarchy were the fudai, or "house daimyō", rewarded with lands close to the Tokugawa holdings for their faithful service.
By the 18th century, 145 fudai controlled the greatest assessed at 250,000 koku. Members of the fudai class staffed most of the major bakufu offices. Ninety-seven han formed the tozama, former opponents or new allies; the tozama were located on the peripheries of the archipelago and collectively controlled nearly ten million koku of productive land. Because the tozama were least trusted of the daimyō, they were the most cautiously managed and generously treated, although they were excluded from central government positions; the Tokugawa shogunate not only consolidated their control over a reunified Japan, they had unprecedented power over the emperor, the court, all daimyō and the religious orders. The emperor was held up as the ultimate source of political sanction for the shōgun, who ostensibly was the vassal of the imperial family; the Tokugawa helped the imperial family recapture its old glory by rebuilding its palaces and granting it new lands. To ensure a close tie between the imperial clan and the Tokugawa family, Ieyasu's granddaughter was made an imperial consort in 1619.
A code of laws was established to regulate the daimyō houses. The code encompassed private conduct, dress, types of weapons and numbers of troops allowed. Although the daimyō were not taxed per se, they were levied for contributions for military and logistical support and for such public works projects as castles, roads and palaces; the various regulations and levies not only strengthened the Tokugawa but depleted the wealth of the daimyō, thus weakening their threat to the central administration. The han, once military-centered domains, became mere local administrative units; the daimyō did have full administrative control over their territory and their complex systems of retainers and commoners. Loyalty was exacted from religious foundations greatly weakened by Nobunaga and Hideyoshi, through a variety of control mechanisms. Like Hideyoshi, Ieyasu encouraged foreign trade but was suspicious of outsiders, he wanted to make Edo a major port, but once he learned that the Europeans favored ports in Kyūshū and that China had rejected his plans for official trade, he moved to control existing trade
Ashikaga Gakkō is Japan's oldest academic institution. It is located in Tochigi Prefecture, about 70 kilometres north of Tokyo. There has been some controversy as to when it was built, but it is said that it was founded in the ninth century and restored in 1432 by Deputy Shōgun Uesugi Norizane. Many students came from all over Japan to study I Ching and Chinese medicine; the pioneering Roman Catholic missionary, Saint Francis Xavier, noted in 1549 that the Ashikaga School was the largest and most famous university of eastern Japan. After the Meiji Restoration, the Ashikaga School was disestablished; the re-established school is now under the direction of Ashikaga city Board of Education. In 1990 several huge wooden buildings of the old school were restored. Ashikaga School on the web site of the Tochigi Prefecture. Retrieved 8 June 2008. Roy Andrew Miller, Review: Studies in the Ashikaga College by Kawase Kazuma, The Far Eastern Quarterly, Vol. 14, No. 3, pp. 422-424. Retrieved 8 June 2008. Ashikaga-Gakko in Encyclopædia Britannica online.
Retrieved 8 June 2008. Haruo Shirane and Tomi Suzuki, Inventing the Classics: Modernity, National Identity, Japanese Literature, Stanford University Press, 2001, pp.227-228. ISBN 0-8047-4105-0 Wayne A. Wiegand and Donald G. Davis, Encyclopedia of Library History, Taylor & Francis, 1994, pp. 320-321. ISBN 0-8240-5787-2 Xinzhong Yao Routledge Curzon Encyclopedia of Confucianism, Routledge, 2003, p. 121. ISBN 0-7007-1199-6
Xun Kuang widely known as Xunzi, was a Chinese Confucian philosopher who lived during the Warring States period and contributed to the Hundred Schools of Thought. A book known as the Xunzi is traditionally attributed to him, his works survive in an excellent condition, were a major influence in forming the official state doctrines of the Han dynasty, but his influence waned during the Tang dynasty relative to that of Mencius. Xunzi discusses figures ranging from Confucius and Zhuangzi, to Linguists Mozi, Hui Shi and Gongsun Long and "Legalists" Shen Buhai and Shen Dao, he mentions Laozi as a figure for the first time in early Chinese history, makes use of Taoist terminology, though rejecting their doctrine. Xunzi was born Xun Kuang; some texts recorded his surname as Sun instead of Xun, either because the two surnames were homophones in antiquity or because Xun was a naming taboo during the reign of Emperor Xuan of Han, whose given name was Xun. Herbert Giles and John Knoblock both consider the naming taboo theory more likely.
Nothing is known of his lineage, the early years of Xunzi's life are shrouded in mystery. Accounts of when he lived conflict; the Sima Qian records that he was born in Zhao, Anze County has erected a large memorial hall at his supposed birthplace. It is recounted that at the age of fifty he went to the state of Qi to study and teach at the Jixia Academy; the Shi Ji states that he became a member of the academy during the time of King Xiang of Qi, discounting the story of his being a teacher of Han Fei, but its chronology would give him a lifetime of 137 years. After studying and teaching in Qi, Xunzi is said to have visited the state of Qin from 265 BC to 260 BC, praised its governance, debated military affairs with Lord Linwu in the court of King Xiaocheng of Zhao. Xunzi was slandered in the Qi court, he retreated south to the state of Chu. In 240 BC Lord Chunshen, the prime minister of Chu, invited him to take a position as Magistrate of Lanling, which he refused and accepted. However, Lord Chunshen was assassinated In 238 BC by a court rival and Xunzi subsequently lost his position.
He retired, remained in Lanling, a region in what is today's southern Shandong province, for the rest of his life and was buried there. The year of his death is unknown, though if he lived to see the ministership of his supposed student Li Si, as recounted, he would have lived into his nineties, dying shortly after 219 BC. Xunzi witnessed the chaos surrounding the fall of the Zhou dynasty and rise of the Qin state which upheld "doctrines focusing on state control, by means of law and penalties". Like Shang Yang, Xunzi believed that humanity's inborn tendencies were evil and that ethical norms had been invented to rectify people, his variety of Confucianism therefore has a darker, more pragmatic flavour than the optimistic Confucianism of Mencius, who tended to view humans as innately good, though like most Confucians he believed that people could be refined through education and ritual. However, he believed, he adapted Confucianism to the ideas of the Legalists. Therefore, unlike other Confucians, Xunzi allowed that penal law could play a legitimate, though secondary, role in the state.
He rejects the Book of Lord Shang and Zhuangzi's claims that the way changes with the times, saying the way had been invented by the sages. To this end he seems to have taken up the Mohists' argumentative strategies and conception of models, saying "the Ru model themselves after the former kings". Unlike the Legalists, he places little emphasis on general rules, advocating the use of particular examples as models, he refused to admit theories of state and administration apart from ritual and self-cultivation, arguing for the gentleman, rather than the measurements promoted by the Legalists, as the wellspring of objective criterion. His ideal gentleman king and government, aided by a class of erudites, are "very close to that of Mencius", but without the tolerance of feudalism. Cua, A. S.. Ethical Argumentation: A Study in Hsün Tzu's Moral Epistemology. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 0-8248-0942-4. Knechtges, David R.. "Xunzi 荀子". In Knechtges, David R.. Ancient and Early Medieval Chinese Literature: A Reference Guide, Part Three.
Leiden: Brill. Pp. 1757–65. ISBN 978-90-04-27216-3. Loewe, Michael. "Hsün tzu 荀子". In Loewe, Michael. Early Chinese Texts: A Bibliographical Guide. Berkeley: Society for the Study of Early China. Pp. 178–88. ISBN 1-55729-043-1. Munro, Donald J.. The Concept of Man in Early China. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan. ISBN 978-0892641512. Schwartz, Benjamin I.. The World of Thought in Ancient China. Cambridge, MA.: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-96190-0. Xun Zi at Curlie Hsun Tzu historical information and writing excerpts Article from the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy Full text of the Xunzi Quotes by Xunzi “Tell me and I forget.
The Tang dynasty or the Tang Empire was an imperial dynasty of China spanning the 7th to 10th centuries. It was followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. Historians regard the Tang as a high point in Chinese civilization, a golden age of cosmopolitan culture. Tang territory, acquired through the military campaigns of its early rulers, rivaled that of the Han dynasty; the Tang capital at Chang'an was the most populous city in the world in its day. The Lǐ family founded the dynasty, seizing power during the collapse of the Sui Empire; the dynasty was interrupted when Empress Wu Zetian seized the throne, proclaiming the Second Zhou dynasty and becoming the only Chinese empress regnant. In two censuses of the 7th and 8th centuries, the Tang records estimated the population by number of registered households at about 50 million people, yet when the central government was breaking down and unable to compile an accurate census of the population in the 9th century, it is estimated that the population had grown by to about 80 million people.
With its large population base, the dynasty was able to raise professional and conscripted armies of hundreds of thousands of troops to contend with nomadic powers in dominating Inner Asia and the lucrative trade-routes along the Silk Road. Various kingdoms and states paid tribute to the Tang court, while the Tang conquered or subdued several regions which it indirectly controlled through a protectorate system. Besides political hegemony, the Tang exerted a powerful cultural influence over neighboring East Asian states such as those in Japan and Korea; the Tang dynasty was a period of progress and stability in the first half of the dynasty's rule, until the An Lushan Rebellion and the decline of central authority in the half of the dynasty. Like the previous Sui dynasty, the Tang dynasty maintained a civil-service system by recruiting scholar-officials through standardized examinations and recommendations to office; the rise of regional military governors known as jiedushi during the 9th century undermined this civil order.
Chinese culture further matured during the Tang era. Two of China's most famous poets, Li Bai and Du Fu, belonged to this age, as did many famous painters such as Han Gan, Zhang Xuan, Zhou Fang. Scholars of this period compiled a rich variety of historical literature, as well as encyclopedias and geographical works; the adoption of the title Tängri Qaghan by the Tang Emperor Taizong in addition to his title as emperor was eastern Asia's first "simultaneous kingship". Many notable innovations occurred including the development of woodblock printing. Buddhism became a major influence with native Chinese sects gaining prominence. However, in the 840s the Emperor Wuzong of Tang enacted policies to persecute Buddhism, which subsequently declined in influence. Although the dynasty and central government had gone into decline by the 9th century and culture continued to flourish; the weakened central government withdrew from managing the economy, but the country's mercantile affairs stayed intact and commercial trade continued to thrive regardless.
However, agrarian rebellions in the latter half of the 9th century resulted in damaging atrocities such as the Guangzhou massacre of 878–879. The Li family belonged to the northwest military aristocracy prevalent during the Sui dynasty and claimed to be paternally descended from the Daoist founder, Laozi the Han dynasty General Li Guang and Western Liang ruler Li Gao; this family was known as the Longxi Li lineage. The Tang Emperors had Xianbei maternal ancestry, from Emperor Gaozu of Tang's Xianbei mother, Duchess Dugu. Li Yuan was Duke of Tang and governor of Taiyuan, modern Shanxi, during the Sui dynasty's collapse, caused in part by the Sui failure to conquer the northern part of the Korean peninsula during the Goguryeo–Sui War, he had prestige and military experience, was a first cousin of Emperor Yang of Sui. Li Yuan rose in rebellion in 617, along with his son and his militant daughter Princess Pingyang, who raised and commanded her own troops. In winter 617, Li Yuan occupied Chang'an, relegated Emperor Yang to the position of Taishang Huang or retired emperor, acted as regent to the puppet child-emperor, Yang You.
On the news of Emperor Yang's murder by General Yuwen Huaji on June 18, 618, Li Yuan declared himself the emperor of a new dynasty, the Tang. Li Yuan, known as Emperor Gaozu of Tang, ruled until 626, when he was forcefully deposed by his son Li Shimin, the Prince of Qin. Li Shimin had commanded troops since the age of 18, had prowess with bow and arrow and lance and was known for his effective cavalry charges. Fighting a numerically superior army, he defeated Dou Jiande at Luoyang in the Battle of Hulao on May 28, 621. In a violent elimination of royal family due to fear of assassination, Li Shimin ambushed and killed two of his brothers, Li Yuanji and Crown prince Li Jiancheng, in the Xuanwu Gate Incident on July 2, 626. Shortly thereafter, his father abdicated in his favor and Li Shimin ascended the throne, he is conventionally known by his temple name Taizong. Although killing two brothers and deposing his father contradicted the Confucian value of filial piety, Taizong showed himself to be a capable leader who listened to the advice of the wisest members of his council.
In 628, Emperor Taizong held a Buddhist memorial service for the casualties of war, in 629 he ha