Early Syncretism in India and China

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Early Syncretism in India and China

By | Feb. 2011
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There are two common traits reasons syncretism had not occurred in very early on in the Eastern Cultures of Indian and China. These have to do with the adaptability of religion and focus on discipline and work culture.

Not all world religions are equally open to economic changes. The adaptability of a religious tradition may be measured by whether its sacred texts are open to translation and interpretation. This was not the case with Buddhism, Confucianism or Hinduism. There are various books and interpretations of Hinduism and Budhism. In India, Hinduism does not have any element of a structured religion; in fact it is loosely structured and that is why it has been resilient and tenacious enough to survive and expand. (Das, n.d) In China, it was established that Confucian tradition would continue to be the sources of value system, and modernization would continue for material gains. As there were various interpretations for one religious belief, no counter opposing philosophy existed.

Buddhism and Hinduism focus on work culture as part of the religious paradigm. The concept Karma which literally means a person's actions, includes the notion, good work deserves good reward. In a free society it is the toughest to cultivate discipline in its people. Discipline is required one personal level to complete education as a student, or a jobs as a professional. With karma's discipline embedded at a grass-root level, far eastern cultures' workers possessed the skills and focus needed by workers to progress the economy. (Norbu, 1996).

Thus implying that had syncretism integrated itself in the early encounters in the history of India and China, these two societies would have smaller communities that were deeply religious,resistant to work, averse to modernization and trade. Aversion to modernization and trade would've resulted in the colonization and dissolution of these societies. As a result India and China would not have existed as the emerging power houses...
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