Anceint Chinese Religions

Topics: Buddhism, Taoism, Gautama Buddha Pages: 3 (809 words) Published: June 7, 2006
In this essay I will describe the three main religions of Ancient China. Although they are not that much alike they do have some similarities. There were three major religions in ancient china, Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism.

The religion Taoism began in China in the 300's BC. "Taoism was Chinas own indigenous higher religion, characterized by the fourth century by a literate and self-perpetuating priesthood, a pantheon of celestial deities, complex rituals, and revealed scriptures in classical Chinese"(The Encyclopedia of Religion – volume 3 – 1993 Macmillan Publishing Company – New York, NY – pg. 272). Taoism as a philosophy appears in two books, the Lao-tzu which was later renamed Too Te Ching, and there was Chuang-tzu. The ideas of this philosophy were partly a chain reaction against Confucianism. The Taoists ideal person is someone who avoids conventional social obligations and leads a simple, spontaneous, and meditative life close to nature. This philosophy also had a great influence on china in literature and art. As a religion, Taoism was influenced by Chinese folk religion. Most gods were human beings who display exceptional powers during there life time. Priests conduct public rituals. There were even some members of Taoist groups that have sought out to find immortality from magic, meditation, special diets, breath control or recitation. All branches of Taoism eventually traced their origin to a new revelation from the Most High Lord Lao to Chang Tao-ling, the grandfather of Chang Lu, in 142 CE (common era), establishing him as "Celestial Master" (The Encyclopedia of Religion – volume 3 – 1993 Macmillan Publishing Company – New York, NY – pg. 272).

Next there was Confucianism, a philosophy based on the ideas of the Chinese philosopher, Confucius. He thought of many rules and even a version of the golden rule saying, "What you do not wish for yourself, do not do to others." (The World Book Encyclopedia – 2004 – World book, Inc....
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