Influence of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism on Chinese life and moral education

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Taiwan was probably the first locality in Asia to introduce life education formally in mainstream schools in 2000; it is compulsory in Taiwan for primary and secondary school students to take life-and-death courses. The People's Education Press of China issued experimental textbooks on traditional Chinese culture to primary and middle school students in 2012. This chapter analyses some corresponding elements of Taoism and Buddhism that contribute to the theoretical development of life education in Hong Kong schools. Taoism believes that human existence is determined by the nature of life. Life is created by the Tao, and human life comes from nature and unites with the Tao. The ultimate concern of Taoist life philosophy is to combine infinite life with limited life. In Taoism, enlightenment is a self-experience path. Taohua is an infinite circle; and always active life. Tao Te Ching stated that Wuwei means something like “act naturally.” For Buddhism, the ultimate goal is to escape from the cycle of death and re-birth. Buddhists believe that the meaning of life is spiritual practice. The Six Transcendent Perfections are a kind of liberation of “self-altruism, taking the end to the original.” Talking about death with Buddhist students, the significance is learning to think positively about death, and to respect life and make good use of life. Each of the Taoist and Buddhism schools in Hong Kong were chosen to illustrate their selection and adoption certain values of Taoism and Buddhism in a school-based curriculum, and some curriculum examples are used to support the explanation. Finally, Taoism and Buddhism enlightening the development of a student's life in the 21st century in Greater China are discussed. Copyright © 2021 selection and editorial matter, John Chi-Kin Lee, Stephen Yam-Wing Yip and Raymond Ho-Man Kong; individual chapters, the contributors.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLife and moral education in greater China
EditorsJohn Chi-Kin LEE, Stephen Yam-Wing YIP, Raymond Ho-Man KONG
Place of PublicationAbingdon, Oxon; New York, NY
ISBN (Electronic)9780429324161
ISBN (Print)9780367341466, 9780367709280
Publication statusPublished - 2021


Wu, S.-W., & Lee, J. C.-K. (2021). Influence of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism on Chinese life and moral education. In J. C.-K. Lee, S. Y.-W. Yip, & R. H.-M. Kong (Eds.), Life and moral education in greater China (pp. 218-234). Abingdon, Oxon; New York, NY: Routledge.


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