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Originally posted by caringhk at 2006-3-21 10:35
Dear Liangzai - Could you eleborate more on the religious elements as could not figure out. Thxs
"Neo-Confucianism, or 理学, is a bad idea because it is partly derived from buddhism and daoism (理学 = 儒家 + 道 + 佛), i.e. has religious elements that are not suited for a modern world"
Yes. I have noted that the Chinese themselves don't usually have this division into Confucianism and Neo-Confucianism, but it is rather apparent if you study the history.
I will just briefly reference Wikipedia here, at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neo-Confucianism :
Neo-Confucianism (理学 Pinyin: Lǐxué) is a term for a form of Confucianism that was primarily developed during the Song dynasty, but which can be traced back to Han Yu and Li Ao in the Tang dynasty. The term should not be mistaken for New Confucianism which is an effort to apply Confucianism to the 21st century.
Neo-Confucianism was a response by the Confucians to the dominance of the Taoists and Buddhists. Neo-Confucians such as Zhu Xi recognized that the Confucian system of the time did not include a thoroughgoing metaphysical system and so devised one. There were many competing views within the Neo-Confucian community, but overall, a system emerged that resembled both Buddhist and Daoist thought of the time and some of the ideas expressed in the Book of Changes (I Ching) as well as other yin yang theories associated with the Taiji symbol (Taijitu). A well known Neo-Confucian motif is paintings of Confucius, Buddha, and Lao Tzu all drinking out of the same vinegar jar, paintings associated with the slogan "The three teachings are one!"
The reason for all this is that Confucianism declined after the fall of Han, whereas Daoism and Buddhism replaced Confucianism. Much later, in the Song dynasty, the incorporation of Daoist and Buddhist stuff into Confucianism was just a way to make it more legitimate, a kind of reformation to revive what was long considered marginal or even dead. Thus Neo-Confucianism is a compromise; it is not the "pure" teachings from the past.