of the many joys of joining the Buddhist religion. However, the author, Zhi Dun, is part of the upper class of China and his testimony does not tell how the lower classes felt. Although in time when nomads were invading northern China, Zhi Dun could have easily targeted Buddhism as a means of foreign corruption, but he does not. Document 3 counters the scrutiny of anti-Buddhists with logic by asking questions that anti-buddhists would ask and answering them with reasoning and fact. Documents 4 and 6 discourage the spread of Buddhism in first century C.E. China. Document 4 ridicules Buddhism as “a cult of barbarian peoples,” citing Confucian sayings as the truth amongst Buddhist lies. Han Yu’s position in the imperial court certainly makes his ideas a standard in the state, although the Emperor acts otherwise and the peasants might not share the same opinions. Document 6 presents Buddhism as the cause for the numerous problems in Chinese society. Since the author is Emperor Wu himself, it is likely that his opinions carried a lot of weight in the nation. Documents 1 and 5 neither discourages nor encourages Buddhism’s spread in China, but attempt to show the reader a different perspective. Document 1 is directly from Buddhist tradition, laying down the basic principles to attaining a happy and enlightened life. Since the document is taken straight from sacred texts, it is certain that all other Buddhists shared these same beliefs. Document 5 attempts to create a compromise among the conflicts of belief systems in China. Although Zong Mi’s intentions may seem unbiased, he himself is a Buddhist scholar, so his ideals might simply be an attempt to defend Buddhism. The spread of Buddhism in China during the first century was met with many different responses. Conflicts such as this, that arose in China due to foreign ideals were the main reasons for China’s isolationist policies later in its history.
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- Spring '16
- Mr. Quedenfeld
- Buddhism, Apwh, Religion in China