Confucius was an Ancient Chinese philosopher, whose ideas were developed into a system of beliefs known as ‘Confucianism’. Some people consider Confucianism to be a religion, but others consider it to be a philosophy.
Confucius is believed to have lived from about 550 BC to 479 BC. As well as being a political figure during the Zhou Dynasty, he was also considered to be a wise man.
Confucius combined different elements of philosophy, religion and rational thinking into a clear system of beliefs, now known as Confucianism. These beliefs have had a strong influence on Chinese culture ever since.
One of the most important beliefs of Confucianism is that people should lead a life which is in harmony with others and the world, that it is important to develop your own knowledge in the world and not do harm to others. Confucius believed that people should strive to do good in the world.
Confucius and Confucianism are so central to Ancient Chinese culture that the government of modern-day China calls its cultural and political centres around the world ‘Confucius Institutes’.