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What is the philosophy of Chinese civilization?

What is the philosophy of the development of Chinese civilization? What religions are prevalent in China today?

Chinese philosophy has created a distinctive idea of ​​man and the world as consonant realities. Over the centuries, Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism gradually became closer to each other, and each of the doctrines found its place in the Chinese system of religious syncretism. Thus, at the heart of the modern philosophical and religious culture of China, harmony, the cult of ancestors, worldly wisdom and the search for the meaning of human existence coexist simultaneously.

What is the philosophy of Chinese civilization?
Photo: EastRussia

Alexey Maslov

Orientalist, Acting Director of the Institute of the Far East of the Russian Academy of Sciences, specialist in the field of spiritual and cultural traditions of Chinese civilization
Taoism is one of the leading religious and philosophical doctrines in China, called the doctrine of Tao, or "Way". It was formed in China over 2000 years ago. The emergence of Taoism is associated with the name of the legendary sage Lao Tzu (pre. VI century BC), who is credited with the authorship of one of the central canons of Taoism - "Tao Te Ching". According to the teaching, comprehension of the foundations of this teaching allows a person to come into harmony with the natural course of events and even gain the immortality of the soul.

Confucianism, centrally moral and ethical, and later the doctrine of government, along with Taoism, remains the most important spiritual tradition in China today. This doctrine, created by Confucius (553-480 BC) and developed by his followers, played a large role in the formation of culture and in the development of religious and philosophical thought in the Celestial Empire. The doctrine was based on the principles of establishing harmony in society, service to the state, filial piety and care for the younger, justice, observance of rituals, modesty, constant learning, because Confucius believed that every "noble husband", in contrast to the "small man", should possess these qualities.

Buddhism has had a huge impact on the culture, painting, literature and architecture of traditional China. Many types of art and culture have developed precisely under the influence of Buddhist beliefs, including a special Chinese artistic aesthetics, some types of painting and even the Chinese tea ceremony. This religious and philosophical movement began to penetrate into China in the XNUMXst century AD. e. from Central Asia along the Great Silk Road and through the southern maritime regions. Buddhism in China is represented primarily by the Mahayana ("Great Vehicle") movement, which assumes that anyone can attain enlightenment. In different periods, Buddhism was either persecuted as an "alien teaching", or was actively supported by the state. Various schools of Chinese Buddhism, primarily Chan, Tiantai, Huayan, proposed various forms of meditation practice, disciplinary rules, comprehension of the concept of "Buddha's heart" and the illusory nature of reality.

So what is the philosophy behind the development of Chinese civilization? What religions are prevalent in China today? These and many other questions were answered in his lecture on the Scientific Russia portal by Alexei Maslov, a Russian orientalist, acting director of the Institute of the Far East of the Russian Academy of Sciences, an expert in the field of spiritual and cultural traditions of Chinese civilization.

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