2Notes: Spread of Buddhism in China Emerged during Han Dynasty (small cult)Began to spread during Era of Warring States ( C.E.)Gained state support during Sui & Tang Dynasties (Emperor Wendi)Lost state support after Lushan Rebellion ( C.E.)Tang Dynasty directed action against foreign religions ( C.E.)
3Document SummariesDOC 1: A summary from Buddhist tradition of the Buddha’s first sermon where he laid out the Four Noble Truths. (5th c. BCE)DOC 2: Chinese scholar Zi Dhun states that whoever follows the Buddha’s teachings in this time of upheaval (nomadic invasion 350 CE) will achieve nirvanaDOC 3: An anonymous Chinese scholar defends Buddhism against criticism of Confucianists using simple logic (c. 500 CE)
4Document Summaries (cont.) DOC 4: Confucian scholar/Tang official Han Yu ridicules Buddhism as a “cult of barbarian peoples” b/c it has no connection to Chinese history. Warns people of believing Buddha’s lies (819 CE)DOC 5: Buddhist Scholar Zong Mi seeks to create compromise b/t Confucianism, Daoism, & Buddhism pointing out that they are all the same in creating an orderly society (9th c. CE)DOC 6: Tang emperor Wu rails against Buddhism likening it to a poisonous vine that as it spreads damages Chinese culture, values, and its economy. (845 CE)
5POV Summaries:DOC 1: Since this is a doc taken straight from sacred texts, it can be assumed that other Buddhists shared the same beliefs.DOC 2: Author is accepting of Buddhism because it provides an idea of an afterlife in a time of violence and upheaval in China, or he may be trying to gain favor with the steppe nomads who have invaded China (who are Buddhist)DOC 3: As an upper class Chinese scholar it is odd that he would choose Buddhism over Confucianism, but it can be assumed that this is his honest opinion because he is speaking anonymously.
6POV Summaries (cont.):DOC 4: Author tries to tap into nationalist feelings of identity & tries to lobby for a return to Confucianism which he would obviously want as a Confucian scholar.DOC 5: Zong Mi is a Buddhist scholar at a time when Buddhism lost state support. He may be trying to defend his faith by pointing outs its similarities with other Chinese religions.DOC 6: Since the Tang Dynasty was starting a period of decline this may be an attempt by the emperor to use Buddhism as a scapegoat for his dynasty’s troubles.
7Additional Document(s): ADD. DOC #1: One that shows the actual numbers of converts to Buddhism during this time (i.e. a graph) would be useful in determining whether or not the worries of the author in docs against Buddhism were justified.ADD. DOC #2: A slightly lower class perspective of the spread of Buddhism , from possibly a merchant, or a view of a convert to Buddhism since most views in the DBQ seem to be from Confucian scholars.