The Spread of Buddhism in China

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Sophia Barbosa
Mr. Gibbs
APWH Period 2
January 31, 2013

Although Buddhism was not accepted when it was first introduced to China, it has its positive aspects and was later on respected. In these documents, the authors- whether they may be a Chinese scholar, Confucian scholar, or a Buddhist scholar- display either animosity towards Buddhism, enthusiasm and encouragement towards the teachings of Buddhism, or a neutral opinion of not only the Buddhist ways, but the Confucian as well.

Undoubtably, when reading over the documents, there are several phrases that exemplify the authors negative ideas about Buddhism. In document four (doc. 4) written by Han Yu- male Chinese Confucian scholar and official at the Tang imperial court- the first statement is, "Your servant begs leave to say that Buddhism is no more than a cult of barbarian peoples spread to China." In that statement alone, the authors thought of the religion is exposed. Referring to the Buddhist followers as barbaric people is an extreme lack of respect and is an insult. The author also states towards the end, "...Buddha be given to the proper authorities to be cast into fire and water, and this evil be rooted out, and later generations spared this delusion." The creator of this document obviously wants the public to know how much he truly detests Buddhism. He refers to it as being evil, and that it is a delusion that future generations should not be exposed to. Likewise, document six (doc. 6) relates to doc. 4, in that they both share the characteristic of disapproval of the Buddhist teachings. Quite a few phrases of hatred can be found in doc. 6 such as, "...Buddhism has transmitted its strange ways and has spread like a luxuriant vine until it has poisoned the customs of our nation." This document written by Tang Emperor Wu- Chinese Confucian Scholar- is clear when stating its viewpoint on the spread of Buddhism in China. Although it may say Buddhism is a luxuriant vine, it is not calling its...
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