The Vocabulary
of Confucianism

Beit Midrash (House of Study)
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Confucious The Vocabulary
of Confucianism


Analects, The: One of the Four Books containing the sayings of Confucius. Analects are considered the best source of determining the sayings and wisdom of Confucius.

Ancestor Worship: The Chinese practice of worshipping the spirits of their dead relatives in order to appease them from causing trouble with the living.

Cheng Meng: The concept of rectification of names, meaning that one should act in accordance with his position in life (king as a king, father as a father, etc.).


Chiu King: the founder of Confucianism.

Chun-Tzu: “Man-at-his-best,” the superior man. The type of man, according to Confucius, who could transform society into a peaceful state.

Confucius: “Kung the Master,” the title for Chiu King, the founder of Confucianism.

Feng Shui: The Chinese name for geomancy, a branch of divination to determine appropriate sights for houses or graves.

Filial Piety: The Chinese practice of loyalty and devotion by the younger members of the family to their elders.

Five Classics: Along with the Four Books, the Five Classics are the authoritative writings of Confucianism. The Five Classics were collected and edited by Confucius. They include: The Book of Changes, The Book of Annals, The Book of Poetry, The Book of Ceremonies, and The Annals of Spring and Autumn.

Four Books: The Four Books are a collection of the teachings and sayings of Confucius. They include: The Analects, The Great Learning, The Doctrine of the Mean, The Book of Mencius.

Jen: The “golden rule” in Confucianism: “Do not do to others what you would not have them do to you.”

Li: The concept denoting the ideal standard of conduct.


Mandate of Heaven: The authorization of power to Chinese emperors and kings believed traditionally to issue from heaven.

Mencius: A later disciple of Confucius who is credited with developing and systematizing Confucian thought.

Te: The virtuous power needed to properly rule the people.

Wen: The arts of peace, which include poetry, music, and art.

Page last updated on Wednesday, 03 August 2016 11:19 AM
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