mmw3-lec15 - (wed Outline Lecture FifteenThe Assimilation...

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5/5/10(wed) Outline Lecture Fifteen—The Assimilation of Buddhism in China Key Questions: 1. What challenges did early Buddhist apologists encounter in their attempts to reconcile Buddhist teachings with Confucian and Taoist values? 2. How did Buddhism first take root in Chinese society? I) Preconditions for Assimilation of Buddhism a) Spiritual and Philosophical Vacuum - Higher and more beautiful stands of ethics followed the concepts of buddism established - Along with the religious idea, more systematic philosophy (buddism was more than religion but philosophical tradition) - Buddhism offered sophisticated body of meditated practices and rituals(emphasis on rituals) i) Need for a universal system of values and a pluralistic ideology of salvation ii) What could Buddhism offer to the Chinese? - Bring in array of statue of different Buddha or bodhisattva (enlightened figures) – depicted in art (religion – art relationship!) - Missing in Chinese culture… so Buddhism filled that b) Mediating Role of Neo-Taoism i) Metaphysical interests of Neo-Taoists - Ask for the 1 st time in china ( after life= metaphysiscal interest) - By the 2 nd 3 rd century; greater interest in metaphysical(more mundane/ cosmic issues) - provided convenient opening for the Buddhism(Buddhism focused on this too) (1) Tradition of qingtan or “pure conversations” - More interested in intellectual groups - informal gathering of traditional Chinese intellectual & central Asian monk -> sitting around and drink tea and discuss philosophical/religious issues. .etc = breathing ground of Buddhism thoughts in China(among intellectual) (2) Practice of Geyi (matching concepts) - using existing Daoism term for the Buddhism terms in India(Sanskrit term) – by using these terms, you know something is lost during translation - wu (emptiness) stands for sunyata & wue (non action ) stands for nirvana & Dao(way) stood for Dharma - negativity= lost the meaning b/c those were specifically for Chinese “matching concept” = Geyi = the process (matching Daoism concept with sanctity terms) (3) Problems of conflation (a) The Buddha rendered as “Huang-lao Fo-tuo” - Associating with existing deity - Buddha was confused with Huan-lao-Ro-tuo(Daoism deity) (b) Laozi Huahu Jing
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This note was uploaded on 11/27/2010 for the course MMW 685308 taught by Professor Chang during the Spring '10 term at UCSD.

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mmw3-lec15 - (wed Outline Lecture FifteenThe Assimilation...

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