2 COT: Post-Classical China 600-1450 In Post-Classical China ( ) the mandate of heaven remained a way to determine dynastic succession providing structure through rebuilding of infrastructure (Great Wall and the new Grand Canal linking the Yangtze to the Yellow Rivers), the role of the civil service bureaucracy would facilitate sound political decision making through the organization of the economy based on Confucian principles, however, trade would increase expanding both China’s size (during the Tang Dynasty) and their hegemony (sinification of Korea, Viet Nam and Japan) and extension of maritime (junk ship trade across the Indian Ocean) and caravan trade (across the silk routes) .In post-classical China the increase in trade (proto-industrialism/commercial expansion) would lead Tang-Song China to actively pursue tributary ties. The influence of Buddhism through trade routes would lead to great internal conflict eventually developing into neo-Confucianism. With all of this trading influence, however, the status of merchants would not be elevated based on Confucian principles.
3 2004 DBQ PromptBased on the following documents, analyze the spread of Buddhism in China. What additional documents would you need to evaluate the extent of Buddhism's appeal in China?
5 Important Things to Know 1. Read carefully the question prompt and the historical background. Underline the tasks demanded and the terms which are unique to the question. Make sure you understand EXACTLY what the question is asking (social responses? economic impact? causes for rebellion?). DO NOT MAKE UP YOUR OWN QUESTION!!!2. Read the documents carefully.a. Make sure that you understand the content of the document.b. What is the author's Point of View (POV).c. Where is the tension?d. What is the origin of the document?e. Is the document valid or is it hearsay?f. If time, gender or age were changed would the person be saying the same thing?
6 Important Things to Know 3. You must use all of the documents.4. Do not simply cite the documents in "laundry list" fashion. You should strive to IMPOSE order on the documents. Find groupings for the documents. Can they be organized into three or four strong, analytical points? What is the OVERALL picture presented by the documents?
7 Important Things to Know 5. Your essay should be an ANALYSIS of the documents and their content. You are demonstrating analysis if you are doing the following:a. The essay contains a thesis which divides your answer into three to four categories.b. The documents are used as evidence to support your thesis.c. Frequent reference is made to the terms of the question. Constantly and consistently return to the question to make sure that all of your points (evidence and analysis) go to answer the question. Be certain that your answer is always focused directly on the question. Do not drift afield.6. Be certain that, if the question allows, you exploit all of the following in writing your answer.a. Point of View (POV) is both indicated and discussed from several angles. You must analyze at least TWO POVs in the essay.b. You request an additional document that (1) Represents a voice that is missing and (2) could plausibly be found in history.
8 What do you know about Buddhism in China? Came into China across the Silk RouteOriginated as Theraveda and became MahayanaAppealed to the masses (why?)People followed Bodhisatvas(those who attained enlightenment but remained to help others)Buddhist had great conflicts with Confucians and Taoist:Buddhism was a “foreign” religionBuddhist monasteries did not pay taxesBuddhist spent time away from their families meditatingBuddhist were exempt from military service (ahimsa)Empress Wu made Buddhism state-sponsored religionBuddhist were oppressed and monasteries burned
9 Lets break down doc 1 together Doc. 1. Four Noble Truths, 5th century B.C.E. The Four Truths aresorrow, craving, stopping sorrow, the way of stopping sorrow.POV: lst sermon of the Buddha, which was used to teach people why thereis suffering and what to do about it.Analysis: Basic doctrine of Buddhism. There is equality of suffering andthe ability to stop suffering. There are no duties to society, there is nohierarchy.NB: this doc. does not relate directly to responses to the spread ofBuddhism in ChinaSource?Meaning?Theme?Now its your turn
10 Doc. 2. Zhi Dun, Chinese scholar, ca. 350 CE [period of unrest, invasion by central Asian steppe nomads] In an era of “sensualpleasures,” a Buddhist who observes the way will reach Nirvana.POV: Zhi is a scholar who clearly admires Buddhism; who sees its value incorrect observances in face of uncontrolled passion (sensual pleasures).He would pass his opinions on to the Chinese aristocracy at the time.Analysis: In times of upheaval, Buddhism presents a comfortingworldview for Chinese scholars and aristocrats.
11 Doc. 3. Anon. Chinese Scholar, ca. 500 C.E., “The Disposition of Error” [end of period of unrest] In Confucian dialogue format, thescholar presents the arguments of the non-“Chinese-ness” of Buddha andthe non-usefulness of Buddhist monks since they do not have wives andchildren. This scholar, however, feels that Confucius didn't have to explaineverything, and “wives, children, and property are luxuries of the world”and replaced by goodness and wisdom.POV: the scholar knows both Confucian and Buddhist philosophies, anddoesn't agree that Buddhism is in conflict with Confucianism or that itis destabilizing. Tone of document is conciliatory. Students mayquestion the “anonymity” in a variety of ways.Analysis: There is a sense of accommodation, blending, or coexistence ofthe two philosophies. Doc. be used to show existence of conflict, orused to extract Confucian criticisms of Buddhism at the time.
12 Doc. 4 Han Yu, Imperial Tang advisor, 819 C.E., “Memorial on Buddhism” Buddhism is .a cult of barbarian peoples”; the relic of hisfinger is “foul”; the Buddhist crowd might “mutilate their flesh” inofferings to Buddha. The Emperor should not participate in the procession;Buddhism should not be allowed to .delude the masses.”POV: leading Confucian scholar who sees Buddhism as evil, anti-Confucian, and illegal (“does not conform to our laws”). As aConfucian scholar, his position and livelihood is vested inConfucianism remaining dominant, especially with the civil serviceexamination system, which provides access to government jobs.Analysis: Buddhism is foreign and therefore “evil”. It is also potentiallydestabilizing (the crowd, the masses will be uncontrollable).
13 Doc. 5 Zong Mi, Buddhist scholar, Tang dynasty , 9th c. C.E, “On the Nature of Man” All teachings (Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism) shouldbe accepted and acceptable.POV: As Buddhism is under attack at the court (see doc. 4) this scholar istrying to make the case-perhaps to the Emperor--that Buddhism is not athreat to traditional Chinese social and political structures. This has aslightly defense tone to it.Analysis: He argues for the equality of beliefs and the social/politicalusefulness of all of the philosophies. Zong must emphasize thatBuddhism poses no threat to the social order in order to counterConfucian arguments that Buddhism is destabilizing. (argument similarto Doc. 3)
14 Doc. 6, Tang Emperor Wu, 845 C.E., “Edict on Buddhism” Imperial edict abolishing Buddhism, because it is foreign; monks and nuns areuseless parasites; because it is evil and destabilizes the family and thesociety.POV: This is an official Imperial edict. The emperor has been persuadedthat Buddhism is a threat to the Chinese economy, laws, family, socialstructure and to his own status as well (the monasteries are grander thanthe palace!).Analysis: The emperor has been persuaded that Buddhism is antithetical toConfucianism, which is native Chinese (and therefore good). He usesthe historical and the xenophobic argument
15 Sample “9” ThesisAs Buddhism spread from India to China beginning in the first century C.E., it was met with mixed results. Many Chinese accepted Buddhism and defended its policies while others scrutinized Buddhism’s absence from past texts and used it as a scapegoat for political and social problems. Still others remained indifferent, wishing to meld the aspects of belief systems in China to create a unique Chinese culture. Documents 2 and 3 defend and support Buddhism in China, while documents 4 and 6 scrutinize it and discourage its spread. Documents 1 and 5 neither encourage nor discourage the religions spread, but provide a third perspective on how it should be dealt with. 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.
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