Buddhism Dbq Analysis

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While Chinese initially accepted Buddhism and defended its policies, over the centuries others increasingly scrutinized Buddhism’s absence from past texts and used it as a scapegoat for political and social problems. When there was no empire to enforce laws, Buddhism gained popularity, but after imperial authority reemerged, Buddhism faced mounting opposition. An additional document that shows the actual numbers of converts to Buddhism during this time, preferably in a graph, would be useful in determining whether or not the worries of the authors in documents against Buddhism were grounded.
For a few centuries after arriving in China, Chinese defended and supported Buddhism. Zhi Dun praised Buddhism as providing a path to nirvana, though as an upper class scholar who probably did not personally feel threatened by invading nomads, his testimony does not necessarily reflect the danger lower classes likely felt. (Doc #2) Over time other scholars felt the need to create logical “instruction manuals for how to defend Buddhism against illogical
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Han Yu cited Confucius in his rage to ridicule Buddhism as “a cult of barbarian peoples” (Doc #4). Han Yu’s position in the imperial court certainly suggests his ideas were an official state standard, though one would need additional evidence from Han Yu’s emperor’s response to Han Yu’s plea in order to know how much influence actually Han Yu held over official policy. Emperor Wu also called for Buddhism’s “eradication,” as the cause for “poisoning customs.” As Emperor, it is likely that Wu’s Edict carried a lot of weight, but it is also possible Wu was jealous of Buddhist monasteries “outshining [his own] imperial palace” than by true concern for his subjects’ welfare. A census showing causes of death would allow historians to objectively evaluate whether Buddhism truly caused citizens to “go hungry,” as Emperor Wu claimed (Doc
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