Buddhism arrived in China by the first century C.E. by way of the Silk Road. Initially, the spread of Buddhism was met with positivity, but as the centuries passed, the Chinese began to view it in a negative light. Additionally, during a period of disunity and political instability, the Chinese peasants welcomed Buddhism, but as Buddhism became more popular, Chinese aristocracy and government saw it as a threat to their power and moved to discredit its movement. Documents 1, 2, and 5 positively supported the spread of Buddhism, and Documents 4 and 6 negatively viewed the spread of Buddhism. The change in attitude corresponding to the spread of Buddhism is presented with Documents 1, 2, and 3, which initially support Buddhism, and Documents 4, 5, and 6, which shows the changing opinions on Buddhism. It would be beneficial to see additional documents written by a peasant in order to show the contrast between elite responses and their motives for choosing a foreign religion over the traditional Confucianism. Another helpful document would be a response from a woman because it would be useful to know the reasons a woman in Chinese society would choose Buddhism and their perspective as opposed to the point of view of men. Documents 1, 2, and 5 positively support the spread of Buddhism in China. Document 1 is written by the Buddha himself, and lays down the basic principles followed by all Buddhists. It shows that by eliminating cravings, sorrow would stop. Nevertheless, it is
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Instability between religious groups was also a common issue and yet another effect of the spread of Buddhism in China, and led to the consistent repression or defense of one’s religion (Doc’s 2, 3). Though Buddhism left a large effect and influence on multiple characteristics of society, it’s most noticeable in social and political classes
This exception is the religion of Buddhism, which transformed the Post-Classical era and the history of China. Islam spread like wildfire, which was surprising due to the popularity of other Chinese religions at this time, such as Confucianism and Daoism. Trade routes began and facilitated the spread of it and were influential in spreading things other than just goods (Strayer). The diffusion of Buddhism into China is extremely important to Chinese people and Chinese history. Buddhist monasteries sprang up in cities and trade routes, and many people were converted just by immersion in the religion and by just following the crowd. Buddhism was very big for merchants and they had a big role in the spread of Buddhism to less populous villages and towns. While China was leading a massive Buddhist revival, an effort to revive Confucian values was also spreading. This effort was called Neo-Confucianism, which means new Confucianism. This new religious belief system combined Confucian values with Buddhist and Daoist influences. This new way of thinking was popular, and even slowed the Buddhist movement, but Buddhism eventually won, amassing hundreds of thousands of
The response to the spread of Buddhism in China differed according to one’s social position.
China has been the home to various religions. At different times different dynasties endorsed certain religions while repressing others. While Buddhism flourished during the Sui and Tang dynasty, it faced opposition from the government during the Song dynasty. Confucianism lost government endorsement during the Sui and Tang but gained momentum during the Song as Neo-Confucianism. Yuan dynasty promoted Islam and Tibet Buddhism but ignored Confucianism. Different rulers sponsored and protected different religions but Confucianism and some form of Buddhism have always been alive in Chinese society from 600 to 1450.
“It is often said that, aside from the impact of Marxism on twentieth-century China, the only other time when the Chinese looked beyond their own borders for intellectual sustenance was during the period when Buddhism was absorbed from India” (LaFleur 23). Why did this religion appeal to the Chinese when they disregarded so many other external influences? After all, being tied to the rest of the world by the Silk Road meant they were constantly inundated with novel concepts from far and wide. The answer must lie in how Buddhism interacted with the other faiths already established in the country, namely Confucianism and Daoism (sometimes spelled Taoism). While at first glance it may appear that Confucian China would be the last place
It is believed that Buddhism spread to China through the Silk Road. When the Silk Road opened in the 2nd century BC, missionaries and pilgrims spread Buddhism to China. Chang Ch’ien was recorded to first bring Buddhism to China when he heard about India and Buddhist beliefs on his way back to China. In about the 1st century BC, a Buddhist community is said to have been living in China. But the most well-known story of the spreading of Buddhism is when Han emperor, Mingdi, had a dream about Buddha in 68 CE and sent Cai Yin, his official to learn more about it. Meanwhile, Mingdi learned from his ministers that he had seen Buddha, “the God of the West” in his dream. After 3 years Cai Yin came back to china with Buddhist teachings and
In the sixth century B.C.E., the religion of Buddhism was founded in India. Seven centuries later, the religion would find itself arriving in China in the midst of the Han Dynasty. In China, there were many different views of the religion as it arrived and spread throughout the country. There were two main responses to the religion. One response was that Buddhism could stand alongside other Chinese religions and philosophies such as Confucianism, as it could do a lot of good for China; while another view was that Buddhism had no place in China, as it came from foreign people and was barbaric, stealing from the Chinese.
In document 4, the Chinese xenophobic mindset appears that Buddha was foreign and barbaric. Han Yu, the Confucian scholar also said that Buddha “deludes” China and people will self-mutilate because of this religion. This supports the thesis because China has a very high ego and is often seen as self-sufficient so when something foreign invades, they believe it is unnecessary and sometimes going so far as to call it “evil” and that is must be ridden of. Calling Buddhism evil and barbaric is certainly a negative response to the spread. Document 6 also shows a very negative response to Buddhism written by the Emperor Wu of the Tang dynasty. The emperor claims that Buddhism in “injuring mankind” and that the followers are too abundant. He complains that while the Buddhists are off praying in temples and living a secluded life, they should be fulfilling their roles in China such as farming and feeding the population. During this time, after legalism was thrown out and the civil service exam was reinstituted based off Confucian values so it is obvious the emperor felt that Buddhism threatened the social standards and hierarchy of Confucianism and needed to dispose of it. His point of view is that as the emperor, he must protect his Mandate of Heaven and keep order in his empire, and the way to do that is for people to pay taxes (which Buddhist
Wu Zhao, the first female emperor of China, rose to power during the Tang Dynasty and her active role with Buddhism fabricated a perpetual impact in the Chinese society as a whole. There is no doubt that Buddhism and the Tang administration, under Wu’s reign, formed a symbiotic relationship with one another. She is considered to be one of the most prominent advocators of the religion during the era. Her efforts to spread of Buddhism and the monetary support help Buddhism to expand throughout the people significantly, which provide the religion another source of financial income to spread even further. Regardless of Empress Wu’s intention, she has furnished the religion in numerous ways, but what did she receive in return? This proposes
Buddhism for centuries, has long been influencing the population all over the world, specifically in China . Buddhism first came to China as a result of merchant traders from India. From there it spread within the merchant community. It mainly expanded because it gave people a sense of hope and faith with the chaos they were experiencing from the collapse of the Han Dynasty. It also spread because it covered what Confucianism lacked; a more spiritual and emotional approach that appealed to many people of different classes. It is because of this that Buddhism spread and was able to influence and greatly affect China during the period of 300-900 CE. Buddhism influenced philosophy and moral teachings, kept the Chinese society peaceful and orderly, as well as affecting the overall economy. Buddhism had strong religious teachings that appealed to the lower class with the idea of afterlife and nirvana as well as an emphasis on following your own path that transformed Chinese beliefs causing a large portion of the population to convert (doc’s 1,4). Buddhism kept the Chinese society orderly by reminding all of Buddha’s life and teachings with statues and the influence it had on monks to spread charity and missionary work (doc’s 2,3,6). Buddhism also had an effect on the economy of China. As it spread from other regions, it caused more farmers and silk producers to convert and spread the religion as monks and nuns. (doc 7,5).
The emperor Taizong gave money to monasteries, sent for more Buddhist books, and created art and statues honoring the Buddhist religion. The empress Wu compose the ultimate dedication to the new faith. She not only created more Buddhist artifacts, but she gave monk more political and social power and requested different scholars to come and teach more of this religion. Wu also injected a law which made Buddhism supersede any other beliefs. So based on the information presented in this paragraph, you can clearly see the political influence on Buddhism and China. Now let’s go over some social effects that helped with the continuous spread of Buddhism through China and central Asia.
The term “Confucianism” is often regarded as a complex mechanism of social, political, moral as well as religious beliefs that have considerable influence especially upon the civilizations belonging to the East Asian countries such as China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, North Korea, South Korea along with Singapore and Vietnam. With reference to the observation made by Reid (1999), it can be viewed that a clear depiction about different principles and beliefs exists within the sphere of “Confucianism”. Therefore, the major purpose of this report is to briefly review of T. R. Reid’s book “Confucius Lives Next Door: What Leaving In The East Teaches Us About Living In the West” through concisely unfolding the experience of
At the core of any nation’s culture are its religious beliefs. In China there are the “Three Jewels” Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism, as described in Lopez (1996). There are small numbers of people practicing other religions such as Christianity and Islam, but these are the three dominant beliefs of the region. While they are separate in content, they have coexisted for several thousand years. Lopez (1996) goes on to say, “Historical precedent and popular parlance attest to the importance of this threefold division for understanding Chinese culture…Buddhism is the sun, Daoism the moon, and Confucianism the five planets…suggesting that although they remain separate, they also coexist as equally indispensable phenomena of the natural world.” Each belief system stands alone, and at the same time needs the other(s).
Qing ruler burnt the Shaolin temple down, destroying there sacred texts.the Shaolin temple was rebuilt and destroyed over and over in the following centuries. At the brink of extinction, a few surviving monks continued to practice kung-fu behind closed doors. ant the end of the Qing Dynasty a few Shaolin monks went to Shingou Si, where they worked to preserve kung-fu. Among these monks were Zhan Ju, Zhan Mo, and Ji Qing. A few years later there was a renewed interest and acceptance of kung-fu, and it remains to this day(shaolin