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Taoism  Buddhism  I Ching  Journal Articles: Chinese Religion 


Yin and Yang in the Valley: Image © Copyright J.B. Hare 1999, All Rights Reserved

Confucianism


The Chinese Classics

These are key texts of Confucianism, the traditional state religion of feudal China. These are some of the few Chinese texts which survived a disasterous book-burning in 213 B.C.E. by the Emperor Ch'in Shih Huang.

Confucian Canon  Five Classics
Sacred Books of The East, Vol. 3  Traditional Chinese Beliefs


Confucian Canon.

Although three of four of these books are traditionally attributed to Confucius (K'ung-tzu, 551-479 B.C.E.) it has been established that he did not write a single word of them; they were written down by his students after his death. The Analects come closest to an actual exposition of his philosophy. These works were put into their present form by Chu Hsi in the late twelfth century C.E. These four books were required reading in order to pass the civil service exminations, (started in 1315), which were the gateway to employment in the Imperial bureaucracy. The translations are by James Legge, from his 'Chinese Classics' series.

The Confucian Canon in Chinese and English 372,292 bytes
This is a version of Legges' translation of the works of Confucius in English and Chinese (using Unicode character entities), in one large file. To view this properly your browser must have Unicode enabled.

Confucian Analects (Lun Yü) 157,975 bytes
The Analects were a collection of sayings written down by Confucius' students in the period approximately seventy years after his death.

Mencius (Legge, tr. 1895).
The second book in the Confucian canon, the Meng-tzu, is named after its author, also known as Meng K'o or Mencius (371-289 B.C.E.).

The Great Learning (Ta Hsüeh) 17,821 bytes
The actual translation of the title of this work is 'Education for Adults'. The text was written between 500 and 200 B.C.E.

The Doctrine Of The Mean (Chung Yung) 38,850 bytes
This work, which is more mystical than the other Confucian classics, is of unknown date.


The Five Classics

These are four of the 'Five Classics' of Chinese literature. The translations are all from the Sacred Books of the East series.

The Shu Ching
The Book of Historical Records. This text describes events dating back to the third millenium B.C.E., and was written down during the Han dynasty (23-220 C.E.).

The Shih Ching
The Book of Odes. This contains poems dating back to 1000-500 B.C.E.

The I Ching
The Book of Changes. Dating to approximately 3000 B.C.E., this famous oracular book is one of the oldest sacred texts in the world.

The Li Ki Part I
The Li Ki Part II
The Book of Rites. This text describes Chinese religious practice from the eighth to the fifth century B.C.E.

The fifth classic (which we don't currently have translation of at this site) is the Spring and Autumn Annals, the Ch'un Ch'iu. There was also a sixth classic, the Classic of Music (the Yüeh Ching), which was lost.


The Hsiao Ching
The Book of Filial Piety. this is a fragmentary text, recommended by Confucius, one of the few that survived the book burning.


Other Texts

The Shundai Zatsuwa (A Japanese Philosopher)
By Kyuso (Muro Naokiyo). This text is an account of Japanese Neo-Confucian thought.

Ssuma Ch'ien


Traditional Chinese Beliefs

This section includes texts about traditional Chinese beliefs and other texts about Chinese culture.

Feng Shui by Ernest J. Eitel [1873] This is a short monograph about Chinese geomancy.

The Art of War by Sun Tzu, Translated by Lionel Giles [1910].