World History Essay

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Mr. Houck
AP World History

Spread of Buddhism in China.
When Buddhism was first introduced to China the philosophy was met with mainly positive responses, but a time progressed Buddhism was met with less favor and was often blamed for political or social problems before ultimately becoming a fundamental aspect of Chinese society. While some advocated following the teachings of Buddhism and some the eradication of Buddhist beliefs from Chinese society, still other preached co-existence between the Buddhism and the traditional Chinese philosophies, most prominently Confucianism. Documents 4 & 6 are against its spread and undertake to discourage the spread of Buddhism while documents 3 & 5 provide are more objective and advise for the tolerance of Buddhism alongside other, more traditional, Chinese philosophies. Documents 1 & 2 support and promote the practice of Buddhism in China. Document 1, a sermon given by the Buddha in India to perspective followers, at some time in the fifth century B.C.E, tells of the enlightenment gained if one follows the teachings of Buddhism and lives according to the Four Noble Truths, (doc1) which the document focuses around. The reason this document shows a positive attitude towards Buddhism is that the author of the document is the founder of Buddhism, the Buddha. Document 2, similarly to document 1, expresses a positive response to Buddhism and describes the enlightenment of Nirvana, which is attainable through the following of the Buddhist scriptures and a genuine commitment to its teachings (doc2) The author of document 2, Zhi Dun, was a Chinese scholar, and therefore also belonged the upper class, and was also male, which gives him a certain bias, and does not tell how women the lower classes felt. He may espoused this favorable belief in Buddhism in an attempt to convert the Asian steppe nomads, by which he was being invaded at the time, because the conversion would mean less violence, as...
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