The main theme that entangles itself in all of the source material is the idea of how governments should be run in such a powerful empire, such as Imperial Rome and the Han Dynasty. Starting with the first source, it is evident that the first Qin emperor believed that only the orthodox teachings should be tolerated, which meant that the works of the Five Classics and its teachings were to be extinguished. The next primary source serves as a supplement to explaining the fall of the Qin dynasty due to its warring ideas and Jia Yi argues that if Confucius teachings were implemented then the dynasty would have still been intact. The third source explains how the Qin dynasty was unjust in its equal appropriation of punishment against criminals regardless of motives or social class. Essentially, Dong Zhongshu believed that a dynasty could not be successful if it failed to establish a fair and righteous justice system for its citizens.
However, Quan kept talking about Yesu, “I will say the name of Yesu” (Alcorn, 162). The reader can notice that monks do not like to hear the name of Yesu in their temple and they do not like Christians. Also, China’s government believes that “Christians are the cause of economic problems…” (Alcorn, 99).
Ultimately, the response to the spread of Buddhism in China was mainly positive acceptance, but at certain times, negative. As Documents 1 and 2 discuss, one response to the spread of Buddhism was large acceptance. Document 1 explains ‘The Four Noble Truths’ and their significance to the Buddhist way. The main idea is that through ‘The Four Noble Truths’ one can put a stop to their suffering.
As Buddhism spread from India to China at the beginning of the first century C.E., it was received with differing opinions ranging from advocating to discouraging its spread from opposing social classes within China, ranging from government officials, Buddhist scholars, and Confucian scholars. Government officials in China rebuked Buddhism as corrupting the Confucian belief system that was in place, after the imperial structure was restored in 570 C.E. These Chinese officials responded hostilely to Buddhism’s spread throughout China as Han Yu, a leading Confucian scholar ridiculed Buddhism as “no more than a cult of barbarian peoples spread to China.” (Doc 4) Due to Han Yu’s position as an official in the Tang imperial court, his belief of Buddhism being a barbarian religion suggests that this idea was an
The introduction of Buddhism to China started off well, most openly accepted the foreign religion and it continued to thrive for centuries. Until the lack of an empire and laws plagued individuals minds. Other religions with a strong imperial structure, such as Confucianism, rose to support the growing number of negative minds. Buddhism was spread by Buddhist missionaries from India into China during the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD). It was, at first, confined to only the higher status individuals, like aristocrats and Chinese royalty.
Buddhism, since it is a foreign religion can never match the true beauty and value of a religion such as Confucianism that is a classic in Chinese culture. An anonymous Chinese scholar once argued about how “If Buddhism is the greatest and most venerable of ways, why did the great sages of the past and Confucius not practice it? In the Confucian Classics no one mentions it” (Doc 3). Not only did the anonymous Chinese scholar consider Buddhism as “outlandish”, but he makes an argument stating that if it was so great, why were the principles of Buddhism not incorporated into Confucianism, a religion that has been around much longer and has had greater influence. Buddhism also did not bode well with the reemergence of the imperial authority as jealousy arose among the elites since Buddhist monasteries were able to evade taxes, but continue to gain funds and riches.
Religion in Classical China Since human’s earliest years, we have relied on religion to guide us in countless situations; it influences almost everything we do. During the Classical Period in China, religion played large roles in many significant decisions. The three most prominently displayed religions at the time were Legalism, Confucianism, and Daoism. Though their unique teachings separated them from each other, each had equal impacts in the shaping of early Chinese civilization and culture.
With a flourishing economy and population came the emergence of religions. A prominent religion that had been established is Buddhism. Buddhism was spread through use of trade networks, and had spoken of morality, and the importance of understanding. Buddhism was preached through the use of a familiar idea of Daoism, and prospered because of its popularity. The presence of Buddhism had influenced Confucianism to form Neo-Confucianism, which payed attention to issues of daily life.
The influence of Buddhism in China arose religious conflicts. One big similarity is the attack of outside invasions. Nomads lead several attacks on Rome and China. These attacks called for big armies, armies that the neither of them had. Therefore, the nomads overtook China and
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.
Although Buddhism originated in the sixth century B.C.E, it quickly spread to China by the first century C.E. Buddhism was both accepted and adopted by many, but also opposed by just as many at the same time. Still some Chinese citizens chose to neither fully adopt or fully oppose the religion, but rather incorporated unique Chinese traditions into Buddhism and also created new traditions from it. Buddhism’s spread in China was met with many different responses. However, the mix of responses could be due to the fact that Buddhism’s arrival fell in the middle of a period of instability for China. Documents 2 and 3 are both in favor of Buddhism.
According to Earhart, the early Christian mission was a failure because of the exclusiveness of Christianity. Christianity did not spread well in Japan because it did not accommodate any other Japanese religions of the time. Earhart believed that the ”stark contrast with the Japanese religion” is what caused Christianity to be expulsed from Japan (Earhart 165). Another interesting point Earhart makes is comparing the early spread of Christianity to the development of other forms of Buddhism. To Earhart, the spread of Buddhism and other religions in Japan is attributed to the “relative instability of the social and political situation” of that time (Earhart 163).
There are about 360 million people practicing Buddhism worldwide. China, Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia are countries that this religion has had a major impact on. In the early period the Chinese government mad a massive effort to destroy this religion in these three regions nevertheless it is clear today that this expended nationwide. Combined together Buddhism is ranked the fourth largest world religion from
The novel Monkey: Journey to the West is one of the greatest classics of Chinese literature. The novel follows the adventure of Tripitaka followed by the protagonist, monkey and his disciples to India in order to find ancient Buddhist scriptures. The story consists of Chinese legends, tales, and superstitions. Daoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism, which are the three main religions in China, play a huge role throughout this story. In the adaptation of Monkey: Journey to the West by David Kherdian, religions are often woven in to the journey of the traveling companion in order to show the path toward self-cultivation and collective harmony.
Matthew Truong A09941133 “This paper has been prepared in accordance with the Academic Senate Policy on Integrity of Scholarship.” -Signed Electronically Neo-Legalism According to the historical context in “A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy,” translated and compiled by Wing-Tsit Chan, China experienced the most change in the twentieth century compared to any other periods in its history (Chan, p. ix). “If one word could be used to characterize the entire history of ancient Chinese philosophy, that word would be humanism — not the humanism that denies or slights a Supreme Power, but one that professes the unity of man and Heaven” (Chan, p. 03). If one name could be used to represent the origin of all ancient Chinese