Confucius was an ancient Chinese philosopher who forever revolutionized Chinese ideology, culture, and society. His philosophies were so influential to the Chinese mindset that his way of thinking had influenced Chinese generations for thousands of years as well as many other people who exist in other parts of the world.
Confucius was born in 551 B.C. which is where he appears on the Bible Timeline Poster with World History. He lived during the Zhou Dynasty of China. Confucius began his philosophical journey in the early adult years of his life. He was employed as a shepherd, a cow herder, a bookkeeper and as a clerk. Confucius eventually became a teacher and was able to start instructing people with the wisdom that was a natural part of his character.
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He eventually became a governor of a town and by 505 B.C. he was selected to be a minister of crime. Confucius was involved in politics and influenced the ruling Chinese leaders of the day to move the country toward a centralized government. He also had followers who helped to spread his philosophical ideas.
Due to problems with the ruling officials of his land Confucius eventually left his post and traveled around to other kingdoms spreading his philosophies but the rulers of the time were not interested in using them to govern their affairs. Confucius eventually returned home when he was an old man and spent the remaining years of his life passing on his wisdom and knowledge to his followers.
Confucius had a wife named Qi Guan and a child that he dearly loved, but he abandoned them at an early age in order to devote himself to his philosophical works. His mother died when he was 23 years old and his father was a well-known military commander who died sometime after her passing. This great philosopher never thought of himself as a religious leader or great teacher; he did his best to teach people about how they should look to the ancient Chinese philosophers, scholars and wise men who were already established in history.
His philosophies touched on almost every major subject that is a part of people’s lives. These include religion, government, economics, morality, and culture. Confucius put people above everything else and many modern scholars consider his teachings to be humanistic. Confucius’ followers considered him a model for humanity that all humans should strive to emulate. This is because Confucius didn’t teach a set of abstract principles or from the position of a deity.
The concept of Li was another Confucian idea and it stressed performing actions that were associated with sacrifice to ancestors and deities, social and political institutions and etiquette of daily behavior. He promoted government that ruled through people’s natural rights and morality. He also believed that if a ruler governed correctly they would never need to issue orders because people would naturally adhere to him because he is directing them from the righteous and truth based position.
After Confucius died in 497 B.C. his followers continued to promote his teachings. In time, his ideas became known as Analects. His students used his teachings to develop different types of political and social theories. Some of Confucius’ followers were killed at different times in history because his teachings conflicted with the ruling ideology of the day and other times his books were burned or prohibited. Still many Chinese governments and societies considered Confucius to be one of the best philosophers and wisest men to have ever existed in the history of China and the Earth.