The Importance Of Neo-Confucianism In China

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Governments twisting religion to their benefit may sound like an unrealistic conspiracy theory, but it was frequent in Chinese history. Confucianism, a philosophy revolving around family and its importance, had been deeply rooted in Chinese ideology throughout several dynasties. However, this changed after Empress Wu Zetian redirected society to Buddhism during the Tang Dynasty. Her rule was the catalyst for a series of new religious and philosophical ideals present throughout the Song and Qing dynasties. When the Song Dynasty reverted back to Confucianism, they introduced new principles and new expectations, especially focusing on the arts as opposed to simply family. The subsequent Qing Dynasty focused on the importance of unifying Chinese …show more content…
The Song Dynasty witnessed a revival in Confucian ideas and influences, commonly referred to as Neo-Confucianism. While Neo-Confucianism continued to emphasize the importance of family and filial piety, it also began to stress the importance of “self-cultivation” as necessary to a “virtuous and harmonious society and state” (Asia For Educators). By promoting arts such as calligraphy, literature, and poetry, applicants to the civil service exams became more educated. Hence, the government was able to recruit more“cultured” men into civil service. Some scholars who entered civil service would use literature to compel other men to “put service to the state above his personal interest” (Asia For Educators). By utilizing Neo-Confucianism to promote arts and culture, the government was able to recruit more educated and intelligent men, and convince them to prioritize the state over themselves. In contrast with the Song dynasty, however, Neo-Confucianism was primarily spread to maintain consistency and homogeneity between Chinese ideas during the Qing …show more content…
Aiffering religions in China causing hostilities can be seen in previously with the Muslim rebellions. Because the Chinese “despised the Muslim for their different religion and their way of life and antagonized them socially and politically” (Brown 191), the Muslim eventually rebelled against the Qing. In light of this, scholars strived to reincorporate a “strict Confucian curriculum” into the education system, as a preventive measure to avoid future religious conflict (208). Incorporating Confucianism into education was a way for the Qing to ensure citizens were educated with the same beliefs and values, mitigating conflicting belief systems When the population follows the same set of ideas, religious conflict is generally reduced, and citizens are easier to manage and less likely to revolt against the

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