Dbq Essay on Responses to Buddhism in China

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DBQ Essay (Part A 2004)

When one studies history, they will realize and understand that every large movement or spread of controversial ideas will generate a huge variety of responses from people; both supporters and non supporters. With a glance at the information provided in the documents, it is evident that the spread of Buddhism from India to China was not an exception and had its own set of responses. Many Chinese scholars desired to extinguish this new spread of ideas and annihilate all traces of Buddhism in China, but others argued against this in support of Buddhism. The documents demonstrate the views of both sides. However, additional documents from the point of view of supporters will be needed in order to further evaluate the extent of Buddhism appeal in China.

Documents four, and six are both from the writings of Chinese scholars during this particular time period and exhibit responses that are not in support for Buddhism. Document four comes across as very ethnocentric and insults Buddhism and the Buddha. Due to the very ethnocentric view of the Chinese, the scholar calls the Buddha and his people barbarians due to the fact that they are foreign and not Chinese. He wanted to preserve ancient Chinese Confucian traditions and was against the demonstration of the Buddha’s finger relic because it is full of evil and may influence the people to make flesh sacrifices to the Buddha. Chinese scholars were also worried about the future of China under Buddhist influence as is displayed in Document six. In this document from the Edict of Buddhism, the author believes that this new idea has poisoned Chinese customs and is taking away from people’s strength, wealth and family. There were also less people farming and less woman sewing clothes due to the amount of people who have converted. This scholar believes that buddhist monks just sit around waiting for farmers to feed them and women to clothe them. The writers of both documents were against these new...
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