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From Buddhism to Neo-Confucian Synthesis in China

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Presentation on theme: "From Buddhism to Neo-Confucian Synthesis in China"— Presentation transcript:

1 From Buddhism to Neo-Confucian Synthesis in China
India and China, 600 – 1600 II From Buddhism to Neo-Confucian Synthesis in China

2 Chinese Dynasties Qin 221–206 BCE Han 206 BCE – 220 CE
Three Kingdoms 220 – 280 Jin – 420 Southern and Northern Dynasties 420–589 Sui –618 Tang –907

3 Tang Dynasty Began with Li Shimin in 618.
Continued to expand China’s reach into Central Asia, Korea, and Vietnam. Cultural influence will spread to Japan as well. China encounters the West when the Arab Empire reached Southwest Asia. Sasanian Persians fled the Arab expansion, settling in Chang’an. Major Chinese cities had neighborhoods for foreign traders. Jews Nestorian Christians Zoroastrians Hindus Jains Muslims Chang’an the largest city in world the seventh century ,000,000 people

4 長安 Chang’an Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, 652

5 Tang Dynasty Bureaucratic reform included the introduction of the examination system. Men had to pass three levels of exams on Confucian, Buddhist, and Daoist texts. Open to all men except merchants, artisans, and criminals.

6 Tang China prosperous, but . . .
Northern China was agriculturally less productive than the south and thus less financially viable. Chang’an too large and isolated from the rest of China. Tang lost power on the Silk Road to encroaching Arabs. Rebellions broke out in: Manchuria Korea Yunnan Tang China itself. Because of expenses imperial government seized Buddhist lands in 845.



9 Tea known in China since 900 BCE Common drink under the Qin
Tang China one of the most cosmopolitan of empires and had a diverse commerce. Tea Silk Tea known in China since 900 BCE Common drink under the Qin Becomes widely popular under the Tang Second most widely consumed beverage in the world after water.

10 Han Dynasty, c. 100 BCE

11 Tang Dynasty c. 1000

12 Song Dynasty Ink and color on silk, c. 950 CE

13 Robe fragment, c. 1550

14 17th Century rug Sold for $7000

15 Sold by Christies London July 8, 1999: $2.4 million
Tabriz Medallion Carpet, North West Persia, 16th Century 21 ft. 8 in. x 11 ft. 9 in. Sold by Christies London July 8, 1999: $2.4 million

16 Empress Wu Zetain, r. 684–705, ruled as empress dowager for her son.
Tang women experienced both greater restrictions and more opportunities. Empress Wu Zetain, r. 684–705, ruled as empress dowager for her son. Declared Buddhism the state religion. Created a new Zhou dynasty and proclaimed herself the Buddhist “Divine Empress who Rules the World.” Backlash against her rule and Buddhism meant she was the last woman to rule China until the nineteenth century.

17 “They have in China a very fine clay with which they make vases which are as transparent as glass; water is seen through them. The vases are made of clay.” Arab merchant, 851

18 Cooking pot, c BCE

19 Qin vase, BCE

20 Han jars, 206 BCE – 220 CE Three Kingdoms Period (burial object),

21 Sui Dynasty, late 500’s Jin Dynasty teapot, 317 – 420

22 Tang Dynasty (618–907)

23 Song Dynasty (960 – 1269) Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368)

24 Ming Dynasty (1368–1644)

25 Du Fu (712–770) “To My Retired Friend Wei” “It is almost as hard for friends to meet As for the morning and evening stars. Tonight then is a rare event, Joining, in the candlelight, Two men who were young not long ago But now are turning grey at the temples. To find that half our friends are dead Shocks us, burns our hearts with grief ”

26 Li Bao (Li Bai) “Drinking Alone by Moonlight” “A pot of wine, under the flowering trees; I drink alone, for no friend is near raising my cup I beckon the bright moon, for her, together with my shadow, will make three people ”

27 Wang Wei ( ) “One-Hearted” “When those red beans come in springtime, Flushing on your southland branches, Take home an armful, for my sake, As a symbol of our love.”

28 Song Dynasty (960 – 1279) Continued Tang emphasis on a merit-based central government. Bureaucracy became too unwieldy. Had to be supported by onerous taxes. Song economic burden increased by of loss of northern lands and Silk Road. Song China more southern and urban than previous dynasties. Internal trade helped by: Creation of paper money More coins Less usury Well maintained roads and canals.

29 Song Dynasty Currency 1 – 1.5 oz. of silver

30 Temujin - Genghis Khan (c. 1162 – 1267)
Created the Mongol Empire by uniting Mongol tribes. Superior horsemen Archers

31 Kublai Khan completed the conquest of the Song.
Created the Yuan Dynasty Linked China to larger Mongol world. In China Mongols assimilated to Chinese culture. Mongol conquests spread Chinese technology throughout Eurasia. Yuan Dynasty ended in 1368: Bubonic plague Internal rebellions Breakdown of Mongol hegemony in Eurasia

32 Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) Founded by Zhu Yuanzhang, a soldier and Buddhist monk, Became Emperor Hongwu.

33 Moved capital to Beijing to protect it from invaders.
Hongwu Reinstated Confucian bureaucracy and Traditional Chinese culture. Created the Grand Secretariat in 1382, as advisors to the emperor. Moved capital to Beijing to protect it from invaders.


35 Population grew to 150 million by 1600.
Population rebounded in China with the arrival of food crops from America. Potatoes Corn Peanuts Population grew to 150 million by 1600.

36 The Expedition of Zheng He
Emperor Yongle ( ) ordered the expedition 1405 to 1433. Zheng He eunuch was a friend and confidant of the emperor. in the emperor’s inner circle. Largest fleet in world history until the twentieth century. Approximately 30,000 men Sought to establish trade contacts throughout the Indian Ocean, Persian Gulf, East Africa, and Southeast Asia.


38 62 “treasure ships” 190 smaller ships Debate about why China didn’t continue.

39 Wang Anshi (1021 – 1086) "The state should take the entire management of commerce, industry, and agriculture into its own hands, with a view to succoring the working classes and preventing them from being ground into the dust by the rich."

40 The baojia System. Village families grouped in 10’s.
One family selected as the group leader. Leadership of this bao rotated. Ten responsible families were gathered, and a member chosen to be responsible for 100 households, and so on. Worked with the magistrate to prevent rebellions.

41 Leader of 100 Families Groups of 10 Families

42 Imperial Civil Service
Palace Examinations National Examinations Provincial Examinations County Examinations Nine Grades

43 Imperial Examinations First Form
Scholastic arts Music Arithmetic Writing Knowledge of the rituals and ceremonies public Private Military arts Archery Horsemanship

44 Imperial Examinations Sui Dynasty additions (600’s)
"Five Studies“ Military strategy Civil law Revenue and taxation Agriculture and geography The Confucian classics Imperial bureaucracy takes its full form in the Tang Dynasty.

45 Village Leadership “Scholar-gentry class.”
Had to obtain at least the shengyuan Open to all classes. Most scholar-gentries came from the wealthy. Expected to present a model of moral behavior.

46 District Magistrate Lowest level of bureaucratic office.
Training ground for higher levels of service. Managed local government collecting taxes public order presiding over ceremonies conducting exams setting a moral example. To prevent abuses, he had to write reports and was monitored.

47 c. 1880 c. 1492

48 Guangxu Emperor and court officials, 1901

49 Women’s lives largely unchanged, except for custom of foot binding
Women’s lives largely unchanged, except for custom of foot binding. Initially represented a woman’s freedom from manual labor

50 Xi’an 1986

51 Tang Dynasty perfects porcelain.
Not duplicated in Europe until early 1700’s

52 Neo-Confucian synthesis . . .
. . . retained core of Confucian ethical teachings with Buddhist and Daoist speculative philosophy. Zhu Xi (1130 – 1200) encouraged full exploration of the physical world as necessary to understand one’s place in the Supreme Ultimate. The basis of the Chinese world view until the 20th Century.

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