Author Study

Topics: Han Dynasty, Buddhism, China Pages: 2 (518 words) Published: April 8, 2013
AP World History

After the collapse of the Han dynasty in 220 C.E., in times of political disunity and unity, Buddhism influenced China. In result, to Buddhism, China responded with acceptance, conciliation, and rejection.

During times of political instability, Buddhism was accepted in China (Doc 1,2,3). Buddhism was accepted in China because it offered an escape from misery that was prevalent in post-Han China (Doc 1). For example Zhi Dun presented Buddhism as a way to escape fear in the wake of nomadic invasions (Doc 2). Zhi Dun’s status as a confidant of the aristocracy reveals the high level of fear and desperation in the Chinese upper-class. As a result of increased Buddhist influence in China, there was a Confucian backlash. In the “Disposition of Error”, a Buddhist apologist skillfully counters the criticism of Confucian polemicists by exfolling the virtues of Buddha and his teaching (Doc 3). Because these sources were written from the perspective or rich and influential scholars, an additional document from a commoner would reveal the extent of Buddhist appeal in the Chinese lower-class.

Another way China responded to Buddhism was conciliation (Doc 5). In this time people accepted nor rejected Buddhism. Zong Mi, a Buddhist scholar favored by the Tang imperial household, wrote about Confucius, Loazi, and the Buddha and their many writings and teachings. He explains that all three philosophers had good ideas and had different points of views on many aspects of life. Through this time of disunity and unity most people could relate to all views. It tells that any religion is to be accepted to create peace in society in their own way but should be respected by others even if disagreed.

The last way China responded to Buddhism is by rejection (Doc 4,6). In the time of 819 C.E.- 845 C.E. a time of unity appeared and politics and society was going smoothly. In this time period, two men in a higher level of society wrote about the spread of...
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