Contemporary Relevance of Confucianism Analytical Essay by NMcRae

An examination of the contemporary relevance of Confucianism.
# 145729 | 1,457 words | 10 sources | APA | 2010 | AU

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The paper explores the contemporary relevance and use of Confucius' three central themes: the promotion of ethical values, a commitment to learning and self-education, and the preference for harmony and peace. The paper demonstrates how Confucianism has been applied by the governments of Southeast states such as Singapore, East Asian countries such as China, and global institutions such as the UN. The paper therefore concludes that Confucianism does have contemporary relevance.

From the Paper:

"Confucius' fundamental ethical values show much applicability to the modern world. Confucius was largely concerned not with moral acts, but with moral character. One could argue that Confucian ethical values aren't relevant to the contemporary world as benevolence and other ethical virtues being the most important values of a government official aren't realistic enough. However, Confucius argued that all men, not just government officials, should seek to be better, more virtuous men. Confucius once said: 'I set my heart on the way, base myself on virtue, lean upon benevolence for support and take recreation in the arts'. Although he believed benevolence to be the most important virtue for a man to seek, he also believed strongly in five core values: propriety; li, filial propriety; xiao, humanity; ren, righteousness; yi, and loyalty; zhong. These ethical values are still very much so relevant in contemporary times. It has been said that there is still much relevance in China, in particular, for benevolence, righteousness and propriety."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Cotton J. 'Chinese Political Thought', 1987, in Miller D. The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Political Thought, New York, Blackwell Publishing, 2009, pp. 61-67.
  • Creel H. Confucius and the Chinese Way, New York, Harper and Row, 1960.
  • Creel H. Confucius Thought From Confucius to Mao Tse-tung, London, Methuen, 1962.
  • Hu S. 'Confucianism and Contemporary Chinese Politics', Politics and Policy, Vol. 25, Iss. 1, 2007, pp. 136-153.
  • Kuah K. 'Confucian Ideology and Social Engineering in Singapore', journal of Contemporary Asia, Vol. 20, Iss. 3, 1990, pp. 371-383.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Contemporary Relevance of Confucianism (2010, November 25) Retrieved February 05, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Contemporary Relevance of Confucianism" 25 November 2010. Web. 05 February. 2023. <>