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Confucianism in Modern Western Society

In a time where our economy is reaching the breaking point and faith in our current government has waned, many people have begun to look toward a different method of doing things in order to create a more positive society. One of those ways is to integrate the ideals of Confucianism into everyday life.

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Confucianism stresses the ideals of moral virtue as it applies to education, relationships and government. Rather than presenting a new type of religion, Confucianism offers people of different religions a philosophy designed to make their lives more positive in a manner that more often than not correlates with their existing religious beliefs.

Confucianism was not meant to be a new religion, but rather a philosophy of life that exists separate from religion. That Confucianism exists outside of the contemporary belief of religion assists in the adoption of Confucian ideals by a wider audience of people as some of the Rites of Confucius can be incorporated into your own, existing religious ideals. With regard to spirituality, Confucius taught that spirits should be respected, but not sought out. Showing proper respect to spirits showed reverence to the memory of your ancestors and to the heritage that they gifted you. The presence and approval of your ancestors are believed to be instrumental to your happiness.

Unlike in Christianity, there is no allusion to divine grace, prayer, original sin, or the generally accepted views of heaven and hell. In Confucianism, heaven is seen as a place for the enlightened sages who have passed on to teach the living.

With regard to government, Confucianism states that a moral code should be applied to government and those who exert influence over government, where those who do not serve the best interests of that government should be punished and those who would serve with excellence should be given seats of power because they will create harmony within the government. Education also weighs into the equation when noting how Confucianism has influenced modern western society. In recent years it has become more imperative that people gain a form of higher education following high school prior to entering the workforce full time.

This higher education assists in helping young people just entering society on their own to climb both the social and work place hierarchy. Confucianism relates higher education to worthiness and higher morality, both highly sought after values in current society. The Rites of Confucianism are meant to serve as a guide to gaining higher moral standing in society, a value that our society holds in high regard when choosing its leaders.

Most recently Confucianism has become a migrant philosophy as it has crossed into the western world, most recently taking hold in Boston, Massachusetts. Boston Confucians are known for having brought the philosophy of Confucianism to the forefront in Boston society.

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They are known as new Confucians primarily because Boston is not in an area known for Confucianism. These Bostonians are not seeking to change the predominant way of thought in Boston, but rather to enhance their own thought processes and experiences through the incorporation of Confucianism into conscious Western thought. These modern Confucians believe in the main principles of Confucianism, increasing morality through philosophy, respect, and education.

Works Cited

Jones, D. (2000). Teaching/Learning Through Confucius. Web.

Knight, K. (2009). Catholic Encyclopedia: Confucianism. Web.

Norden, B. V. (2003). Boston Confucianism. Philosophy East and West 53:3 , 413-417.

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"Confucianism in Modern Western Society." StudyCorgi, 10 Dec. 2021,

1. StudyCorgi. "Confucianism in Modern Western Society." December 10, 2021.


StudyCorgi. "Confucianism in Modern Western Society." December 10, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Confucianism in Modern Western Society." December 10, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Confucianism in Modern Western Society'. 10 December.

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