Confucius (孔子/Kong Zi/K’ung Tzu): Forming a Chinese Social Identity
Throughout the world, perhaps no single Chinese historical personage is as recognized as Confucius is. Indeed, the writings of Kong Zi (the correct transliteration of his name) are comparable in their effect on the Chinese, and Asian, world view as are the Classical philosophies of Plato and Aristotle are in the West.
Neo-Confucianism – Updating the Classics, New Perspectives
By the Song Dynasty, the Confucian classics were almost a millennia old. As a result, especially when it came to enacting filial rituals, the standards of proper conduct were exceedingly difficult to follow adequately. Technologies, social customs and the cultural context in general that the Confucians were engaging with in their pursuit of moral refinement had all changed to such an extent that certain parts of the Confucian canon were either impossible to follow or had slipped into the obscurity of archaism.
The Ming Dynasty (明朝/Ming Chao/Ming Ch’ao): Steps Toward Modernity
With the collapse of Mongol rule in 1368, the Han people were free to once again assert their dominance in China. The Ming dynasty was thus a period during which Chinese culture was celebrated and developed in order to recapture the glories of the Song and Tang. This new-found enthusiasm for a Chinese culture was coupled with unprecedented influences, both from without and within.