Dissertation > Philosophy, religion > Ethics ( moral philosophy )

A Contrastive Study on Chinese and Western Ethical Culture:Based on the Analects and the Bible

Author YuShuLan
Tutor ZhangWeiDong
School Yanshan University
Course Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords the Analects of Confucius the Holy Bible ethics Nucleus Ethics MajorEthics Primary Ethics
Type Master's thesis
Year 2012
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As is known, Chinese and western cultures have different cultural backgrounds andhistorical origins. The Analects of Confucius is one of the most valuable books which haveever greatly had influences on Chinese culture in history. In contrast, the Holy Bible hasalso exerted extreme effects on western culture. Undoubtedly, the Analects and the Biblehave played important roles in the formation and development of Chinese and westerncultures. From the perspective of social ethics which is from Professor Luo, a famousscholar of ethics in Renmin University of China, a contrastive analysis on ethics betweenthe Analects and the Bible is a new perspective of the study. Practically, the research isuseful to improve people’s consciousness and enhance effectiveness of cross-culturalcommunication; theoretically, the research can help people reinforce their understandingof Chinese and western cultures, aiming at promoting the establishment of global ethics.Using the framework of the Prototype Category Theory and applying the approach ofcontrastive analysis, Chinese and western ethical cultures are comparatively analyzedfrom their origins, referring to the Analects of Confucius and the Holy Bible,focusing onthe discovery of their differences, similarities and the regular pattern and aiming atoffering some constructive suggestions to cross-cultural communication. In the thesis,three aspects are involved in the analysis, that is, nucleus ethics, major ethics and primaryethics. In terms of nucleus ethics, the analysis mainly places emphasis on benevolence inthe Analects and love in the Bible; with respect to major ethics, the analysis is focused ongoodness, responsibility and justice; as to primary ethics, etiquette is the object of analysis.On the foundation of the contrastive analysis, further summaries are made about thedifferences and similarities in ethics.The research explores that both differences and similarities exist between the two, interms of ethics. With respect to the differences, it is found out that in the Analects,‘goodexample’ is paid much attention to so as to install an intrinsic desire in the reader, which isa conscious ethics. While in the Bible, the ethics stress self-discipline, which is anextrinsic regulation, namely, an obliged ethics. Despite the differences, many similarities still exist, especially in nucleus ethics. In the Bible, love is the nucleus ethics, and in theAnalects it is benevolence. However,“The benevolent love fellows.” Obviously, theessence of love and benevolence are the same. With respect to major and primary ethics,both focus on the outcome or goal of ethics, a harmonious society in order. Therefore, it ispossible to share a global ethical system for people all over the world. In the thesis, theauthor also offers three constructive suggestions to cross-cultural communication. Firstly,inheriting the original common parts in Chinese and western cultures; secondly, admittingthe differences and strengthening cultural conversations; and thirdly, respecting each other,and “accommodating divergent views”, making efficient and successful cross-culturalcommunication come true.

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