Analects of Confucius

(ca. 479–249 BCE)

The Analects (Lunyu) is presented as a discourse between Confucius and his disciples, and it reflects the ideas associated with Confucianism. More of a collection of aphorisms than a philosophical treatise, the Analects offers a guide to ethical behavior centered on the concepts of virtue, ritual (also translated as “propriety”), and benevolence; additionally, it emphasizes self-cultivation and a careful study of the teachings of the ancient sages as the means by which to understand and practice these ideas. Although it is sometimes characterized as a religion, Confucianism is...

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Folding screen showing the twenty-four paragons of filial piety (Yale University Art Gallery)

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