Religion & Philosophy        
ancient Chinese ethical and philosophical system
Confucianism is an ancient Chinese ethical and philosophical system originally developed from the teachings of the early Chinese philosopher Confucius (孔子, Kǒngzǐ, 551BC-479BC). It focuses on human morality and good doings. Confucianism as passed down to the 19th and 20th centuries derives from the school of the Neo-Confucians, led by Zhu Xi (朱熹, Zhū Xī, 1130-1200), who gave Confucianism renewed vigor in the Song and later dynasties. Neo-Confucianism combined Taoist and Buddhist ideas with existing Confucian ideas to create a more complete theory than had ever existed before.

A simple way to appreciate Confucian thought is to consider it as being based on varying levels of honesty. In practice, the elements of Confucianism accumulated over time and matured into the following forms: ritual, relationships, filial piety, loyalty, humanity and the gentleman. Confucianism is a complex system of moral, social, political and philosophical thought that has had great influence on the culture and history of East Asia. Some consider it to be the state religion of East Asian countries because of governmental promotion of Confucian values.

The cultures most strongly influenced by Confucianism include China, Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, Vietnam, and various territories settled mostly by Chinese people.
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