Religion In Classical China Essay

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Religion in Classical China Since human’s earliest years, we have relied on religion to guide us in countless situations; it influences almost everything we do. During the Classical Period in China, religion played large roles in many significant decisions. The three most prominently displayed religions at the time were Legalism, Confucianism, and Daoism. Though their unique teachings separated them from each other, each had equal impacts in the shaping of early Chinese civilization and culture. Legalism, by definition, is conformity to written or spoken laws, rather than a spiritual religion (Merriam Webster). Chinese legalists supported strong figures of authority who ruled forcefully, and armies that used labor to keep civilians from resisting. The sixth…show more content…
Daoist philosophies fixated on the harmonious and mysterious workings of nature, harmony being the fact that every living or nonliving thing has its opposite. Daoism is most commonly associated with Laozi; he, “stressed that nature contains a divine impulse that directs all life” (World Civilizations). According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Laozi’s teachings were the inspiration behind many books, cultural traditions, and works of art. Daoism found its popularity among the upper class who were seeking out a religious way of life. The fact that the wealthy were interested in Daoist morals is quite ironic due to Daoism’s focus on frugal living and modesty. Unlike the other two religions, Daoism didn’t pose any threats politically. Nevertheless, Chinese government convinced Daoist leaders to incorporate allegiance to ones government into their speeches. Daoism had no large impacts on any of the classical Chinese governments but it allowed people to concentrate on their beliefs instead of politics. That being said, Daoism is still practiced in certain parts of the world

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