How Did Buddhism Affect The Tang Dynasty

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Religions like Daoism or Buddhism and philosophies like Confucianism had great control over how East Asia was run. These ideologies resonated with all walks of life from the time: Buddhist karma gave the common people something to look forward to; Confucian guidelines made the relationship between government and the governed better; Daoism gave purpose to many spiritually confused people. Some government officials used the influential powers of these religions to make political gains. Others used certain aspects of the religions to dissent from the government’s tight grip on society. Most used them to find inner peace and motivation. Even though Buddhism existed long before the Tang Dynasty, it tremendously impacted the Tang Dynasty. It arose …show more content…

Many people looked towards Buddhism for solutions to all of their problems. The popularity of Buddhism made rulers curious about the religion itself. Various emperors however, did various things. Some sent people to India to find more about it, some promoted it for personal gain, and some tried to destroy it, but most supported it. Buddhism encouraged rulers to be kind and understanding to others, and to do good deeds. The rise of Buddhism stirred interest in all people, including empresses. Buddhism gained great power during the time of Empress Wu (628-705 AD), the wife of the 2nd and 3rd emperors in the Tang Dynasty. She gained power when the 3rd emperor died, becoming the only empress in all of Chinese history. Since the aristocracy before her favored Taoism over Buddhism, she encouraged the growth and spread of Buddhism to weaken her opponents. The more Buddhists there were, the less Daoists there …show more content…

It was used in many previous dynasties as a guide to ruling. For example, in the Han Dynasty, government officials were chosen based on whoever scored the highest on an exam about the theory of Confucianism. Therefore, the most highest ranking officials were scholars who had mastered Confucianism best. The Tang government also made the ruling officials follow the ideas of Confucianism to rule the people. Confucianism enforced loyalty, order and respect, and was based on the principle of “ren”, or compassion and kindness. Love for one's ancestor was necessary. This idea is based on the Chinese tradition that associates old age with wisdom. The system of belief had many virtues that fit an ideally kind and gentle world, where each family has its place beneath the ruler, each individual has his or her place in the family, and no force was required. Confucianism influenced Chinese society greatly. Most Chinese officials knew Confucianism and followed it. The emperor was regarded as the Son of God, while the district magistrate, or the emperor's representative, was treated as the father of the people. Theoretically, the relationship between the emperor and the magistrate was two sided—the subjects could ignore the emperor if he did not take good care of his subjects. In reality, however, the system was heavily biased toward the authorities. Confucianism lost much influence in Tang Dynasty while

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