Buddhism in China Essay

Submitted By vh_smile
Words: 801
Pages: 4

Victoria Hervey
AP World History
2nd period
Buddhism in China Although China was built on Confucian classics, Buddhism would become strong in times when the imperial structure was week or broken. China’s response to Buddhism when the imperial court was powerful was rejection to the foreign religion. The document by Zhi Dun stating his support of Buddhism shares characteristics with Zong Mi, the Buddha, and the anonymous Chinese scholar. This shows support in China when Buddhism was spread. Zhi Dun in document two would also pair well with the documents that share a relative time period with the Buddha and the Chinese scholar.  Officials or people favored by the Tang imperial court include Han Yu and Zong Mi.  Zhi Dun, the anonymous scholar, the Buddha, and Zong Mi all support Buddhism. There support of Buddhism shows that in China Buddhism was not always rejected. In some cases Buddhism was even favored. The Anonymous scholar says, “The records and teachings of Confucian classics do not contain everything” (doc 3). When he says that, he is answering to people who are comparing Buddhism to Confucianism. The anonymous scholar, a Buddhist supporter, in an upper class, shows that being Buddhist in this time period would lead to favoritism from people of higher power. This shows how Buddhism’s influence in china evolved overtime. It also shows how people were scared and timid of Buddhism in the begging. The people of China did not want to leave the Confucian practices that had once helped them. Buddhism gave them hope and explanations to many of their problems. If a Taoist was added to this mix it would be able to show an outsiders opinion and how Buddhism influenced him.  Zhi Dun’s document was written before the imperial structure was restored in China along with the Buddha, and the anonymous Chinese scholar.  These documents happened to support Buddhism during this time period which means that Buddhism was spread easier in China then. The spread was probably easier because the imperial court was not in full strength. Specifically in document 2, written by Zhi Dun, northern China was invaded by the central Asian steppe nomads. Zhi Dun states that, “Whosoever in China, in this era of sensual pleasures, serves the Buddha and correctly observes the commandments…” (Doc 2). The fact that Zhi Dun was a high official during this time period means that he was using Buddhism to his benefit in order to gain followers and manipulate & organize the people of China much like China’s previous dynasties were established through Confucianism.  When high officials convert lower classes usually follow. An appropriate additional document that could have been added to answer how China reacted the spread of Buddhism would have been a Chinese census that showed which people belonged to what religion and how many out of the total population. This could help prove if the lower class followed the lead of their officials. It could also show contrast to the population changing over time towards or