(6th - 5th Century BC)
“Heaven means to be one with God.”
Confucius also known as K'ung-fu-tzu or K'ung-tzu throughout Chinese history was a teacher, philosopher, and political theorist who had a passion for learning. Though he grew up in poverty, it is claimed that he mastered ritual, music, archery, charioteering, calligraphy, arithmetic, poetry and history by finding great teachers to educate him. Becoming a teacher himself, in his thirties, he was known for wanting to make education available to all men in the attempt to improve society. His teachings centered on moral conduct, how to live life, and how to interact with others. His interest in politics led him to the positions of magistrate, assistant minister of public works, and minister of justice. He died at the age of 72 of natural causes.
CONFUCIANISM: The system of ethics, education, and statesmanship taught by Confucius and his disciples, stressing love for humanity, ancestor worship, reverence for parents, and harmony in thought and conduct.
Followers of Confucianism: Less than 1% of the world's population (note).
Authoritative Texts: The Analects contain:
• the sayings of Confucius
• texts about divination
• extracts from the history of state
• rites of propriety
Authors: Disciples of Confucius