|Doctrines|| ||The doctrine of the
School of Mencius is represented most clearly in two books. One is the
Doctrine of the Mean, which is believed to have been written, edited or
transmitted by Tzu Ssu, the grandson of Confucius and the disciple of
Tseng Tzu, the youngest disciple of Confucius. The other is the Book of
Mencius, which fully develops the ideas propounded in the Doctrine of the
The School grounds its teachings in Confucius through devoting its attention to the humanistic understanding of Heaven, humanity and the harmony between them, while also forming its own distinctive doctrines through concentrating on human self-cultivation and self-transformation. At the heart of Mencius' teaching is the belief that human beings are born with the knowledge of the good and the ability to do good. Everyone is born with what Mencius described as the 'four beginnings': benevolence, righteousness, respect and the capacity to distinguish right from wrong. Anyone who fully realises his heart/mind understands Heaven and serves the mandate of Heaven, through which he is are able to become a sage, and participates in the creation and recreation of Heaven and Earth.
These beliefs influenced Mencius' perception of politics. The doctrine of benevolence must be brought into politics so that government is humane and moral. It is the responsibility of the ruler to ensure the economic well-being of his subjects, to provide them with education and, in doing so, to rule through winning their loyalty and confidence rather than through force. If rulers oppress the people then they lost the mandate of Heaven, and the people have the right to remote them.
|History|| ||The exact years of
Mencius' life are
uncertain, although it is traditionally held that he lived between 371 and
289 BCE. He is believed have received his education from the disciples of
Tzu Ssu (?-402? BCE). The school gained its prestige among
Confucian schools partly through attacking other traditions, especially
the doctrine of Yang Zhu (a. the fourth century BCE) and Mohism, and
established itself as a force in Confucian intellectual life through
refining and developing Confucian doctrines on human nature and
Although the school was not specially influential during the period from the Han to the Sui dynasty, from the Tang dynasty it came to be regarded as the orthodox school in the line of Confucius and one of the key links in the chain transmitting the Way of the Sages. With the emergence of Neo-Confucianism during the Sung dynasty both the Doctrine of the Mean and the Book of Mencius came to be ranked, along with the Analects and the Great Learning, as the Four Book's. Subsequently, Mencius himself came to be revered as the orthodox transmitter of the Confucian tradition after Confucius and the Second Sage next to Confucius, receiving for eight hundred years, till the beginning of this century, sacrifices both in the Temple of Confucius and in the temples devoted to him.
|Symbols|| ||The School of Mencius does
not have a distinctive symbol system.|
|Adherents|| ||It is not possible to
determine the numerical size of the School of Mencius.|
School of Mencius does not have a headquarters or main centre.|