The Brill Dictionary of Religion

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Life of Confucius

1. Confucianism is the philosophical tradition of China, coming down from Kong Qiu, later named Kong zi, or Kong fuzi, ‘Master Kong.’ In the seventeenth century, the Jesuits Latinized the name to ‘Confucius.’ Little is known about Confucius (551–479 BCE) with certitude. According to some assertions, he lived ‘without rank and in low relations’ (Lun yu, 9:6), presumably a member of the lower …

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Bumbacher, Stephan Peter, “Confucianism”, in: The Brill Dictionary of Religion, Edited by Kocku von Stuckrad. Consulted online on 27 February 2020 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004124332, 20051223

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