Week 5 Discussion 284.docx - Week 5 Discussion Topic Please...

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Week 5 Discussion Topic Please answer at least one of the following discussion questions. Be sure to also respond to the posts of at least two others throughout the week. 1. We have already discussed Confucianism and Buddhism in detail in this class, but in the Song and Kamakura periods we see the further development of these two traditions. How are Neo- Confucianism, Chan/Seon/Zen Buddhism, Pure Land Buddhism, and Nichiren’s Lotus Sutra- focused Buddhism different from earlier Confucianism and Buddhism? Why do you think these new traditions evolved at this time? Discuss one or two of these traditions. 2. Some of the learning resources this week emphasize that in the Song, Yuan, and Kamakura periods we see the development of many traditions that are core to what we think of as China and Japan today (such as a rice-based diet, the Shogun model of governance, tea culture, the integration of Chinese and Steppe cultures, Neo-Confucianism, etc.). What developments in this period do you think were most important in shaping the nations of China and Japan of today? As Buddhism grew in the country, it adapted to and influenced the Chinese culture and a number of schools developed. And yet, it wasn't always good to be a Buddhist in China as some found out under the persecution of various rulers. Buddhism first reached China from India roughly 2,000 years ago during the Han Dynasty . It was probably introduced to China by Silk Road traders from the west in about the 1st century. Han Dynasty China was deeply Confucian. Confucianism is focused on ethics and maintaining harmony and social order in society. Buddhism, on the other hand, emphasized entering the monastic life to seek a reality beyond reality. Confucian China was not terribly friendly to Buddhism. Yet, Buddhism slowly spread. In the 2nd century, a few Buddhist monks notably Lokaksema, a monk from Gandhara , and the Parthian monks An Shih-kao and An-hsuan began translating Buddhist sutras and commentaries from Sanskrit into Chinese.

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