Confucianism was founded by Confucius, who was born in the state of Lu, Northern China in 551 B.C. Confucianism is primarily a body of ethics and can be considered as an institutional religion only; in that it requires sacrifices to the gods and ancestors. Confucianism does not restrict itself to any formalized theology. The central concept of Confucian ethics is Zen, which signifies the supreme virtue of love and goodness. There are no churches, clergy or creeds in Confucianism.
The founder of Confucianism, Master Kong (Confucius, 551-479 B.C.E.) did not intend to found a new religion, but to interpret and revive the unnamed religion of the Zhou dynasty.
Confucianism is known to the Chinese as “Ju Chaio”(teaching of the scholars) and was the dominant force in Chinese thought, education and governance for 2,000 years. Confucians generally conduct their lives according to five cardinal virtues—kindness, righteousness, decorous behavior, wisdom and uprightness. Confucius taught that the chief ethic was benevolence and one of his prime precepts was “Treat inferiors with Propriety”.
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