Unit Assignment East Asian Religions
“When we turn to Confucianism, the certainty that we are still dealing with a religious tradition seems to change. Why is this? A variety of reasons have been given. Some would say that Confucianism seems to be more a social-humanistic and ethical teaching than a religion because it is focused on the establishment of proper relationships between persons and the capacity of the individual to develop his or her moral nature. Beyond the role of the individual, it appears to be focused on societal well-being. There is little that points beyond self and society. Is such a focus necessarily exclusive of religious motivation? Religion certainly has a capacity for social-humanistic and ethical responses to issues. In fact, it might be the case that a particular religious tradition would define itself primarily in terms of these kinds of responses. Why, then, is the capacity for religious response questioned in the case of Confucianism when a similar response in another tradition would not be questioned as anything other than religious?”
—The religious character of Confucian tradition. By: Taylor, Rodney L., Philosophy East & West, 00318221, Jan98, Vol. 48
Consider these questions:
Why is Confucianism questioned as a religion?
Should there be a certain definition of religion or a specific way to categorize something as a religion?
How has learning about Confucianism affected how you define religion?
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