Religions of East Asia; Including Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

. The Dao is the source of all power which embodies all beings and encompasses both the yin and the yang. Remarkable quiet and serene, the Dao is rarely detected by humans, but provides invulnerability to those who posses it. Dao philosophy calls for its followers to refrain from certain foods and sexual activity, and also separates the role of the state from the lives of its citizens.

The great philosopher Confucius, also known as Kong Fu-Xi, evolved his teachings out of Dao philosophies. Confucius, like Western philosopher Socrates, is known to modern man through the others attempting to preserve his teachings. He took Dao teachings and evolved them into an entirely different sect. Unlike Daoism and later the Shinto religion, he believed that men were the source of the secret life, rather than the cosmos. The Analects of Confucius are dialogues between his followers and he which best embodies his moral and philosophical teachings. He believed that its was our duty to secure the good of all the world, for we were all tied together, "Confucius' primary purpose was to persuade all people to cooperate in securing the general good," (Noss 299).

Shinto is Japans native religion. However, it is derived from the Chinese Shendao, which translates into "the way of the higher
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spirits or gods," (Noss 333). Shinto is more related to worship of the cosmos and heavenly bodies, unlike Confucius's teachings which place man in the seat of power in the Universe. Its oral traditional roots also make it more fractured and variant than Confucianism. Like the earlier Chinese native religions, Shinto places emphasis of ancestral worship and keeping the ancient family alive through the memory of those still breathing. Early creation myths involve a heavenly male and female who are later corrupted through death. After the death of the female, the male attempts to restore her, only to find her body badly decomposed and therefore polluted. Developing Shinto philosophy is obsessed with the cycle of becoming polluted and then ridding yourself of that pollution.

The various religions of ancient East Asia share many elements, such as the importance of virtue, honor, and family. However, some of these religions like Daoism and Shinto place more importance on the heavens in relation to the formation of man's destiny. Confucius, on the other hand, believed that man himself was in the driver seat, and had the ultimate power of his fate and the path of one's destiny.

Works Cited

Confucius. The Analects. Penguin Classics. New York. 1998.

Noss, David S.…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Confucius. The Analects. Penguin Classics. New York. 1998.

Noss, David S. History of the World's Religions. Prentice Hall. 12th ed. 2008.

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