Confucianism in Cultural Studies

Humanism in the West started in the Renaissance time when secular people realized that without religion, people can still be humane to others. Earlier than the Renaissance time, religion governed the West, thus people acted according to the decrees of Christianity. According to Bauman (34), humanism was prompted by ancient Greek and Roman studies of Renaissance people. Nevertheless, comparing the civilization of the two worlds Western and Eastern, and considering the time Confucius lived, Eastern thought can easily outdo its counterpart, especially in terms of etymology.Many Confucian concepts and practices reflect humanism including ren, yi, li and zhi. To follow ren is to be altruistic for others. Yi means promoting righteousness and moral disposition to do good. Li is similar to ethics, consisting of a system of norms and propriety while Zhi is the ability to judge what is right and good. In sum, doing what is right and good to others is the main core of Confucius’s teachings. In Western humanism, human responsibility is the nuclear idea (Blackham, cited in Mencius 10) in the definition of the term. These ideas tie up and reflect the similarity between the East and the West.Humanism, although coined later in the Western world, is strongly reflected in the Analects. Confucius, addressed as the master declares, A youth when at home, should be filial, and abroad, respectful to his elders. He should be earnest and truthful…overflow in love to all, and cultivate the friendship of the good (Confucius 1:6). Notably, filial love, respect for elders and love for all are humanist ideas. These virtues are taken in the Confucian culture as responsibilities of a youth.Mencius, a Chinese sage who followed Confucius, also promotes humanism in his writings. According to Hinton (cited in Mencius 10), Mencius was the great thinker of the heart) for he delved into deeper dimensions of the heart, expounding more on