piety

xiao

or hsiao(Chinese; “filial piety”)

In Confucianism, the attitude of obedience, devotion, and care toward one's parents and other elders considered fundamental to moral conduct. Originally rooted in the hierarchical ideology of Chinese feudalism, it was raised to a moral precept by Confucius, who cited it as the basis of ren. It is seen as the basis not only of family harmony but of social and political stability.

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In spiritual terminology, piety is a virtue. While different people may understand its meaning differently, it is generally used to refer either to religious devotion or to spirituality, or often, a combination of both. A common element in most conceptions of piety is humility.

Etymology

The word piety comes from the Latin word pietas, the noun form of the adjective pius, which means "devout" or "good".

It can refer to a way to win the favor or forgiveness of one's God, or gods, (i.e., to propitiate Him/them). According to some, this type of piety does not necessarily require the spiritual piety, while others refrain from distinguishing the two.

It is also used by others to refer only to external signs that result from the spiritual aspect of piety. That is, according to some, if one is "truly" pious (in the spiritual sense), the natural and inevitable result of it will be religious piety. By this definition, then, piety can be either genuine, in that it springs from spiritual piety, or false, in that it is an attempt to exhibit the signs of piety for their own sake, or for some other reason, (such as propitiation or public esteem).

In Catholicism and Anglicanism, piety is one of the Seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Religious movements

Pietism as a movement within Lutheranism was strong from the late-17th century to the mid-18th century.

See also

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