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  • Posted By: jonescapital
  • Date Posted: 02/20/2011
  • Category: Religion
  • Words: 827
  • Pages: 4
  • Views: 1200
  • Rank: 763

Buddhism in China essay

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Buddhism in China essay

Historical China represents a cultural, and, most of the time as well, a political unity. But the country was not completely ignorant of or entirely untouched by outside influences. There had always been contact with Central Asia and India, the center of another great civilization at the time. And this happened especially through the spread of the Buddhist religion. India, in contrast to China, had often been more politically fragmented than unified. For this reason, India never posed a real threat to China and her sense of self-importance. As a religion of foreign origin from India to China, Buddhism in the Chinese context, between Islam and Judaism on the one side as ethnic religions, and Buddhism and West Christianity on the other side as missionary religions. However, the beginnings of Buddhism behaved somewhat differently to Chinese culture, arousing much more attention as well as controversy as it attempted to make its impact upon the Chinese society.


At 1st century A.D. or earlier, this religion of Indian origin had already undergone several centuries of development both in theory and practice. It acted as a harbinger of civilization in many areas, introducing knowledge of Indian languages and scripts, especially Sanskrit and eventually a technical vocabulary in Chinese for translation purpose, also inspiring art, literature and philosophy. But China was already home to a vigorous civilization with an ancient canon the Confucian classics and time hallowed traditions. The meeting of the Buddhism religion and Chinese culture was a momentous one, marking an encounter between the Indian worldview and the Chinese. In many ways, the pre-Buddhist Chinese ways of seeing things was much closer to the Western ways than to the Indian. The idea that all creatures possess the Buddha-nature and are capable of attaining to Buddha hood, linked to the doctrine of ...

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