BEIJING, July 21, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — A news report from China.org.cn:
As the capital of five ruling dynasties, Beijing features an extensive collection of imperial temples. But there is a place that differs from the rest, as it is not a temple to revere ancestors or gods, but to commemorate a great thinker and teacher. Today, we will embark on a journey to explore the Confucius Temple and Imperial College Museum, where the ancient ruins vividly narrate the stories of this city.
Wu Ming: Confucius Temple was established during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) with a history of more than 700 years. During the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1911), repeated restoration and expansion works were carried out to reach the area it has today.
The Confucius Temple has different types. For example, the Confucius Temple in Qufu, Shandong province, is the ancestral temple of Confucius. As for the Confucius Temple in Beijing, it is the site of veneration for the central government and emperors in particular for Confucianism. This makes the Confucius Temple in Beijing the most prominent among all the temples dedicated to Confucius in the country. Nonetheless, all of these temples share a common purpose, which is to pay homage to the revered figure of Confucius.
In ancient China, the ceremonies honoring Confucian philosophers were categorized into different levels. Similarly, the ranks of reverence within the Confucius Temple varied across different dynasties. The highest and most solemn form of reverence was known as the “grand reverence.”
Hossam Al-Maghrabi: Do you think that the Chinese still hold great respect for Confucius today?
Wu Ming: Absolutely. What we see now is a statue of Confucius. We generally call Confucius the great thinker, teacher and philosopher for us. His teachings revolve around important concepts such as virtue (“de”), benevolence (“ren”), harmony (“he”), and others, which form the core principles of Confucianism. The idea of “loving others as yourself” emphasizes the importance of peaceful coexistence and harmonious relationships among people. The value of harmony is deeply cherished, and these Confucian ideals have not only influenced Chinese society but also the broader East Asian region and even global culture. Confucius can be considered a philosopher of global significance.
From the Heart of China
Beijing’s cultural treasures – Confucius Temple and Imperial College Museum