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[Vol.26 (2016)] Time: A Unique Perspective on the Relationship between Heaven and Humanity in Confucianism
Author : JIA Zhenzhen
Date : 19.03.27
Page : 65-80
Keyword : time, ritual, gentleman personality, mandate of Heaven, cheng
Abstract :


The present paper develops into three main parts, trying to clarify the value of time (shi) in the traditional Confucian philosophical texts and historical literature. The original meaning of time in Confucianism was contained in the seasons change. Since the changing of the seasons was thought of as a basic principle of Heaven, Confucians gave time more implications when they linked it with their understanding of the mandate of Heaven. People followed the principles of Heaven by the direction of time through two kinds of regulatory mechanisms: the observance of ritual and through the ideal of the gentlemanly personality (junzi renge̫). Rituals set rules to govern the outward appearance of regular life and the ideal of the gentlemanly personality which was inherently accordant with the spirit of Heaven was thought to make ones actions more spontaneous and sincere. Kongzi taught people to be moral, using concepts like wen xing zhong xinᣬbut it is not easy to explain the significations of Confuncian ideas about morality without understanding certain necessary conditions. This is the subtle and difficult part of following the time, since people could find directions for doing so in a book but the act of actual observance depends primarily on ones own judgment about when it is right for things to actually occur. Confucians had the wisdom to choose the right time, make correct decisions and act along with it so as to fulfill the mandate of Heaven. In this regard, time is an essential concept for examining the relationship between human and Heaven in Confucianism


Attachments : Time ; A Unique Perspective on the Relationship between Heaven and Humanity in Confucianism(JIA Zhenzhen) 65-80.pdf


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