What Are the Sacred Texts of Confucianism?

According to Yale University, the sacred texts of Confucianism are five books that legend states Confucius wrote. These books are “The Book of History,” “The Book of Poetry,” “The Book of Changes,” “The Book of Rites,” and the “Spring and Autumn Annals.”

Although Confucianism isn’t strictly a religion, it does have a number of prominent texts, considered by many followers, to be sacred. According to the “Ancient History Encyclopedia,” Confucius was an ancient Chinese philosopher, living in the 6th Century BCE. He made it his life’s mission to bring peace, harmony, and enlightenment to his students and to the world. However, it is unknown whether the texts often credited to Confucius were, in fact, written by him, or whether they were written by his students, after his death.

The principles of Confucianism, which the texts teach, are concerned with morality and ethics. It theorizes that moral harmony is directly related to cosmic harmony, and teaches that those who rule or teach, should lead by example, with acts of benevolence, and without the use of force. The five central principles of Confucianism, which are taught in the sacred texts are benevolence, righteousness, observance of rites, moral wisdom, and faith. Confucianism encourages humans to practice these five traits to work toward moral harmony and cosmic harmony.