Chinese Faith Triangle: Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism
Confucianism, Daoism (or Taoism), and Buddhism, abbreviated as the “Three Religions” or “Three Teachings” (sanjiao), have been commonly accepted as the mainstay of Chinese culture and their religious and philosophical essentials constitute the main focus of Chinese style scholarship. Similar to other leading spiritual traditions of the axial age, they originated and acquired their forms in China around the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers about 2,000 years ago, gradually solidifying into the main body of the Chinese faith system. Dissimilar to the spiritual traditions of ancient Egypt, Israel, Athens, Rome, and India, the Chinese faith system, consisting of Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism, has religion and philosophy in their specific dimensions coinciding with each other, exhibiting a unity between being inner saint and outer king in human endeavors. Specialized in its sustained heritage and creative adaption to alien cultures, such a faith system has been identifying its adherents all around the world as Chinese people toward a common spiritual DNA and conceptual base for her national renaissance.