The Symphony of God, Humanity, and the Universe
By giving special attention to the integral relationship among God, the cosmos, and humanity, the works of Thomas Berry (1914–2009, USA) and Zhou Dunyi (1017–1073, China) provide insights that speak to the current ecological crisis, a cosmological context for developing an Ecozoic spirituality, while helping to advance clear values and ethical parameters that lead to a more authentic human presence on Earth.
Chapter 3. The Cosmology of Zhou Dunyi
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In the early Song dynasty (960–1279 C.E.), there was a revival of the Confucian movement through a renewal of the study of the classics and a flourishing the practices of self-cultivation and sagehood. Together with a relationship to other religions such as Daoism and Buddhism, these became central themes for Neo-Confucianism. The Han and Dang Confucians (206 B.C.E.–907 C.E.) had focused on textual studies and literary pursuits. Until the early Song dynasty, Daoism and Buddhism dominated the cosmological and spiritual discourse in China. The revival movement of Confucianism was allied with the development of cosmology. Zhou Dunyi (1017–1073 C.E.), Zhang Zai (1020–1077 C.E.), and Shao Yong (1011–1077 C.E.) intuited that something was lacking in the Confucian tradition. They stimulated a form of Neo-Confucian thought by drawing their cosmological understanding from the Book of Changes. These thinkers anticipated the fully established Neo-Confucian tradition as articulated by the Cheng brothers (Cheng Hao, 1032–1085 C.E., Cheng Yi, 1033–1107 C.E.) and by Zhu Xi (1130–1200 C.E.). These Neo-Confucians revitalized the teachings of Confucius and Mencius by providing the tradition with a more robust cosmological foundation as well as new methods for moral cultivation and for learning to be human.
← 69 | 70 → In fact, Neo-Confucianism was itself an outgrowth of classical Confucianism, but one which had assimilated aspects of the spirituality and cosmology of Buddhism and Daoism. By integrating an organic cosmology with an ethical emphasis on human nature, the revival movement was regarded...
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