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Ancient China
Religions in China



Religions in China
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 8 to 10
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   9.13

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    pre-determined, Wudou, following, sizeable, benevolence, better, dynasty, alchemy, assert, suffering, ideology, ethical, wholesome, doctrine, prominent, largely
     content words:    Lao Zi, Zhang Ling, Zhang Dao-Ling, Wudou Mi Dao, Eastern Han, Mi Dao


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Religions in China
By Vickie Chao
  

1     When it comes to religions, many people cite Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism as the three major religions in China. Those who hold this view are misguided.
 
2     Confucianism, founded by China's most respected teacher and philosopher, Confucius, is not a religion. It is merely an ethical and moral code of conduct that the Chinese have been following for more than 2,000 years. The core value of this school of thought centers around one Chinese word, "ren," which means "benevolence," "humanity," or "kindness" in Chinese. Confucius' ideology was largely ignored during his own lifetime, but it became prominent about 200 years after his death. Ever since then, it has been the doctrine that everybody in China strives to achieve.
 
3     Taoism started out like Confucianism as a way of life. Its founder, Lao Zi, encouraged his followers to observe and seek to understand the laws of nature. Lao Zi was born around the same time as Confucius. He believed that everything in the universe, including human life, followed a pre-determined path (or "tao" in Chinese). Thus, it would be better if a person did not complicate the matter by interfering as an event unfolded. When applied to day-to-day life, Lao Zi urged emperors to assert little or no codified laws over their subjects. He objected to wars and disliked violence.

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