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China and Buddhism Ch. 8 Pgs. 388-393. The Influence of Buddhism “Buddhism is by far the most important gift that China received from India…” pg. 388.

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Presentation on theme: "China and Buddhism Ch. 8 Pgs. 388-393. The Influence of Buddhism “Buddhism is by far the most important gift that China received from India…” pg. 388."— Presentation transcript:

1 China and Buddhism Ch. 8 Pgs

2 The Influence of Buddhism “Buddhism is by far the most important gift that China received from India…” pg. 388 Christianity is to ____________________ as Buddhism is to ____________________ China became a “launching pad” for Buddhism – spreading Buddhism to Korea and Japan Buddhism faded in India, but grew solid roots in much of East Asia

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4 Making Buddhism Chinese Initially entered Chinese via the silk road Han dynasty not accepting of Buddhism – found barbaric – believed that Buddhism was at odds with Confucianism = felt monk life – secluded and monastic – was dishonorable towards Chinese family values, enlightenment seemed selfish, individual salvation = selfish The initial entrance into China, Buddhism was a practice of the foreign merchants and monks living in China

5 Xuan Kong Monastery, China

6 Making Buddhism Chinese Buddhism grew between 200CE and 800CE – with both elite and popular culture – began with the collapse of the Han Dynasty – violent and fragmented country led people to discredit Confucianism. Buddhism provided comfort – ritual, morality, and contemplation – became a stable aspect of peoples lives in an unstable environment Appeal to ordinary people = travelers, place of refuge, provided charity, farmers could borrow seed, sick treated, kids educated

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8 Translation of Buddhism to Chinese Culture – Dharma = Dao – “the way” – Morality = “filial submission and obedience” – Some Indian concepts were “husband supports wife,” in Chinese Buddhism became “husband controls wife” – Took hold in the Mahayana form – deities, relics, many heavens and hells, and bodhisattvas – Pure Land Buddhism – salvation by faith, not study or meditation – became the most popular Chinese version of the Indian faith

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10 Making Buddhism Chinese Sui and early Tang support of Buddhism – Sui Emperor = Wendi = built monasteries at the bases of China’s 5 sacred mountains – used Buddhism to justify military campaigns Was never independent of the state – monasteries were required to read Confucian texts – state had control over Buddhism (unlike Christian church in Europe)

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13 Losing State Support – Buddhism’s Decline Challenges from the state 1. The wealth of Buddhism – monks that traded/received goods from along the silk road 2. Origin of Buddhism – from India, not welcome, offensive to Confucianism and Daoism – felt Buddhism undermined the Confucian-based family system Turning point in the spread of Buddhism = An Lushan rebellion ( ) = revolt against the Tang, desire to return to “purity” of earlier times – Buddhism became criticized

14 Losing State Support – Buddhism’s Decline – Imperial Decrees – monks and nuns forced to return to normal tax paying citizens, monasteries, shrines destroyed, refused to use gold, silver,copper, iron, gems to construct their images

15 Buddhism Holds On Although persecuted, Buddhism did not disappear – played a role in the reformation of Confucianism during the Song dynasty Buddhism at village level incorporated the honoring of ancestors Statues included aspects of Confucius, Laozi, and Buddha

16 How did Buddhism regain strength and become one of the most common religions in SE Asia?


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