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filial piety

n. respect owed to one's parent and ancestor.

Filial piety

In Confucian philosophy, filial piety (, xiào) is a virtue of respect for one's parents, elders, and ancestors. The Confucian classic Xiao Jing or Classic of Xiào, thought to be written around the Qin-Han period, has historically been the authoritative source on the Confucian tenet of xiào / "filial piety". The book, a conversation between Confucius and his student Zeng Shen (曾參, also known as Zengzi 曾子), is about how to set up a good society using the principle of xiào (filial piety). The term can also be applied to general obedience, and is used in religious titles in Christian Churches, like "filial priest" or "filial vicar" for a cleric whose church is subordinate to a larger parish. Filial piety is central to Confucian role ethics.

In more general terms, filial piety means to be good to one's parents; to take care of one's parents; to engage in good conduct not just towards parents but also outside the home so as to bring a good name to one's parents and ancestors; to perform the duties of one's job well so as to obtain the material means to support parents as well as carry out sacrifices to the ancestors; not be rebellious; show love, respect and support; display courtesy; ensure male heirs, uphold fraternity among brothers; wisely advise one's parents, including dissuading them from moral unrighteousness; display sorrow for their sickness and death; and carry out sacrifices after their death.

Filial piety is considered a key virtue in Chinese culture, and it is the main concern of a large number of stories. One of the most famous collections of such stories is The Twenty-four Filial Exemplars (Ershi-si xiao 二十四孝). These stories depict how children exercised their filial piety in the past. While China has always had a diversity of religious beliefs, filial piety has been common to almost all of them; historian Hugh D.R. Baker calls respect for the family the only element common to almost all Chinese believers.

Usage examples of "filial piety".

The law of reason inculcates to the human species the returns of filial piety.

Their ambition, which urged them to achieve the conquest of Burgundy, was inflamed, or disguised, by filial piety: and Clotilda, whose sanctity did not consist in the forgiveness of injuries, pressed them to revenge her father's death on the family of his assassin.

His personal quest was carrying him into a disturbing and unfamiliar world, away from the radiant path of duty, obedience, filial piety, and integrity defined by the Way of the Warrior.

On the contrary, these young girls were looked upon with a mixture of great respect-for submitting to their gin of filial piety-and pity, for it was generally known that while a prostitute might on a very rare occasion become the mistress of a wealthy samurai, once she crossed the moat that surrounded the Yoshiwara she surrendered all hope of becoming a wife and creating her own home.

Zen Godo, a man of extreme filial piety, spoke to his father every week.

He had known neither the pleasure of companionship with others nor the vigour of rude male health nor filial piety.

Can you not see that it carries honor, duty, loyalty, and filial piety to the extreme?