Confucian Temple

Pingyao, Shanxi

An image of Confucius, flanked by disciples, is enthroned within the hall. Although not exactly a god, the Sage has been posthumously "promoted" to quasi-Imperial rank; he is venerated as the founder of Confucian ethics, honored as the patron of scholarship and learning, and petitioned even today for academic success. During imperial times, only those who passed the government examinations on Confucian teachings were allowed to enter the civil service and become government officials.