Share
Explore BrainMass

Taoism and Confucianism: History and Practices

Assistance in the following categories:
1. Countries: In this section, you should include the MAIN countries where people who practice these religion live. In most cases, it will be more than one country. However, don't just list all the countries where believers live. Choose no more than 5-10 (and in some cases considerably fewer) where most of the believers live
2. Historical Figures and Events: In this section, you should include the most important figures and events in the history of the religions. In some religions, there may be only a few. In others there may be many. But again, the idea is to include the MOST important ones.
3. Central Beliefs: Every religion has about a bazillion beliefs , but that doesn't make all those beliefs "central beliefs". Again, some research is required here to be sure you are listing the important ones. In Confucianism, that would include (at least) jen, li, and yi--so if you leave them out, you're going to lose points.
4. Nature of god(s): For some religions the answer to this section may be "They don't believe in god(s)." Or, perhaps, "They don't have any ideas about god(s)." And that's fine. For those who do believe in god(s), what is God like? Is s/he a personal God who is prayed to and who cares about his/her people? Is s/he (or are they) just creators who don't get involved? What characteristics does s/he (or do they) have? All powerful? All knowing? What kinds of things can/does s/he (or do they) do?
5. Texts: What are the religion's primary scriptures? Where is the information about the central beliefs, etc. of the religion written down? The answer is obvious in some cases (the Qur'an for Islam, for instance) but less obvious in others. And most religions have more than one text.
6. Ritual and Practice: What are the primary rituals and actions of the believers in the religion? Some of these would be the important holidays celebrated. Another thing you might include under Christianity, for instance, would be the sacraments, like baptism. For Muslims, this section would include the Five Pillars, among other things. For Hindus, the importance of bathing in the Ganges River would be included.
7. Ethics and Morality: Don't just list everything they believe. For example, you could say that Catholics (and some other Christians) believe abortion is immoral, and that's true. But that's a fairly minor issue. A larger, more important part of Christian ethics would be the Golden Rule. The same is true of other religions. In general, you shouldn't list a lot of individual issues (marriage, abortion, capital punishment, adultery, etc.) Rather, what I'm looking for here is the general rules/principles the believers follow to help them decide on any given issue what the right thing to do is.

Solution Preview

I will provide you with online resources and references that will assist you further in your research, however, it is always ideal to reference scholarly resources in your assignments.

1. Countries

Taoism (or Daoism)
The country of origination mainly practices this religion. The diaspora of this country also practices this religion which means that it could be practiced worldwide, however, the only other main country of practice is within the Asian continent.

The following link will provide you with the Taoist Ethnic Groups that exist:
http://chineseculture.about.com/od/religioninchina/a/Daoism.htm

(Please copy and paste the url in a new browser window and press enter or return)

Confucianism
The country of origination is shared with Taoism and is one of four main countries that still practice this religion. All four countries are within the Asian continent.

The following resource will assist you:
Chung, Douglas K. "Confucianism: A Portrait." In Beversluis, Joel (Ed.). (1995). A Sourcebook for Earth's Community of Religions. Grand Rapids: CoNexus Press.

2. Historical Figures and Events

There is only one person who is responsible for the origination of each of the belief systems/religions (I say this loosely as you will realize that both Taoism and Confucianism do not call themselves 'religions').

Taoism
The main founding figure is the individual who wrote the "Tao Te Ching." The other main figure wrote another Taoist sacred text which is named after himself.

The following link refers to historical events in the history of Taoism. It should only be viewed as a guide:
http://history.cultural-china.com/en/166History5900.html

The major events basically refer to the chronology of the religion with regard to some changes that ...

Solution Summary

The solution will provide the student with a guide on understanding and researching Taoism and Confucianism. The particular categories covered are the main countries in which the religions are practiced, the central beliefs, the nature of god(s), the texts, the rituals and practices, and ethics and morality.

$2.19