Buddhism and Christianity: Two Emerging Religions

909 WordsJul 17, 20184 Pages
Due to the emergence of universal religions, a new idea known as syncretism started to emerge. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the idea of syncretism as “the amalgamation or attempted amalgamation of different religions, cultures, or schools of thought.” (Merriam-Webster) However, in historical term, syncretism is defined as the accepted idea that was believed to enhance people’s willingness to adapt or adopt to a certain religion because of the appealing ideas. During the first millennium C.E, two universal religions, Buddhism and Christianity, primarily spread through the idea of syncretism, although, a secondary factor contributed to the spread of these religions, which were political rulers and religious representatives such as…show more content…
Dropping out of society seemed to clash with filial piety, however, as time passed nomadic leaders started to appeal to Buddhism. For instance, “ As Buddhism traveled, it merged with many non-Buddhist ideas that made the new faith more appealing to China. Regional heroes, mythical characters, and local deities became bodhisattvas, allowing people to continue worshipping the same spirits while adding another dimension to their power.” (Johnson 56) The number of monks started to grow in China and stimulated contact with India and many wanted to acquire Buddhist scriptures. Due to the impact of syncretism, Buddhism was able to have a strong impact in China resulting in many converts and new leaders to spread Buddhism to other countries. However, another religion that was also in its first phases known, as Christianity was a successful universal religion as a result of syncretism. Christianity, a religion known to have established most of the teachings by Jesus spread through the idea of syncretism and the expanding of the church. At the beginning of the millennium, the church had no clergy before, but an organization was developed where there would be a certain number of bishops and clergy including the pope. As a result the diocese formed which was the smallest governing body. After this formation, Christianity started to spread in part of the Church recruiting gifted people who served in the Roman government.
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