In Chinese philosophy, the phrase three teachings (Chinese: 三教; pinyin: San Jiao) refers to Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism when considered as a harmonious aggregate. Some of the earliest literary references to the "Three Teachings" idea dates back to the 6th century by prominent Chinese scholars of the time. The term may also refer to a non-religious philosophy built on that aggregation.
Three teachings harmonious as one
The phrase also appears as the three teachings harmonious as one (Chinese: 三教合一). It can also refer to a syncretic sect founded during the Ming Dynasty by Lin Zhaoen. In that sect, Confucian, Buddhist and Taoist beliefs were combined based on their usefulness in self-cultivation.
Alternatively, in common understanding, three teachings harmonious as one simply reflects the long history, mutual influence, and (at times) complementary teachings of the three belief systems, with little relationship to Lin Zhaoen's sect.
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