Similarities between American-Puritanism and Chinese -Confucianism

Essay by elsiechao January 2007

download word file, 5 pages 4.0 1 reviews

Downloaded 25 times

American-Puritanism and Chinese -Confucianism have both played a tremendously important role in the foundation and growth of American and Chinese society respectively. But these two parallels seem to have no point of intersection. Making comparison between them is a hard and daring job. However, it is still worthwhile to study them since their irreplaceable powers have influenced two most wonderful countries in the world. And this article mainly focuses on the similarities between American-Puritanism and Chinese -Confucianism. To understand the comparison fully, it is indispensable to review what is Confucianism and what is American-Puritanism.

Confucianism is a philosophy with a religious function. As a system of philosophy, its earliest principles were initiated by Confucius (551-479 B.C.) and further developed by Mencius (371-289 B.C.). It focuses on "the correct way of human existence, which presupposes an understanding of human nature, and seeks the blissful state of human perfection, that is, the union of Heaven and man."

Confucian ethical teachings include the following values:

Li: includes ritual, propriety, etiquette

Hsiao: love within the family: love of parents for their children and of children for their parents

Yi: righteousness

Xin: honesty and trustworthiness

Jen: benevolence, humaneness towards others; the highest Confucian virtue

Chung: loyalty to the state

However, it has neither church nor clergy, no teaching on the worship of God or gods, or life after death. Confucianism is actually a philosophy of life, not a Religion. It is a "code of conduct" to live this life, and it has had a tremendous impact on how the Chinese live their lives with a great influence in Chinese government, education, and attitudes toward correct personal behavior and the individual duties to society.

Puritanism: when the first settlers, quite a few of whom were puritans, left their homes in Europe for American, the totally...