2 Notes: 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.)
3 Document 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)
4 Document 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)
5 POV 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.
6 POV 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.
7 Additional 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.