Confucianism is commonly viewed as a major religion of China, although its religious nature is still being debated by scholars in both China and the West. Through a chronological narrative that traces the development of Confucianism from the time of Confucius to contemporary China and east Asia, this entry focuses on the following aspects of Confucianism: the origin of Confucianism and the Confucian canon, the influence of Confucianism in imperial China, the treatment of Confucianism by the Chinese socialist state in the 20th century, the contemporary revival of Confucian ritual practices, and the global nature of Confucianism.

Clarification of Terms

To understand the complex history and diverse meanings of Confucianism, we need to first clarify the different usages of the term Confucianism. Although the word Confucius, ...

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