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Origins

Confucians would come to see the Western Zhou's collapse in 771 B.C.E. as an act of Tian that signaled the loss of the heavenly mandate to rule. The story of the Western Zhou's beginnings, however, convinced Confucians that just as virtuous rulers once came to power and brought prosperity and harmony, so too could sage kings walk the earth again in their own time and order society with tradition, ritual, and virtue.


Study Questions:
     1.     What role did Shang dynasty religion play in the development of Confucian thought?
     2.     What role did Zhou dynasty religion play in the development of Confucian thought?
     3.     What is the focus of religious concern in early Confucianism?

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