AP World History Free-Response Questions
Buddhism was founded in India in the sixth century B.C.E and was brought into China by the first century C.E. Gradually winning converts, the fall of the Han dynasty in 220 C.E caused a period of political instability and disunity. There is the Buddhist who support Buddhism and praised the Buddha as their god. However, there were some people who are against Buddhism and didn’t like it as a religion so they went against it. When Buddhism first came to China they started gaining followers. They started to believe in Buddhism because either they didn’t follow a religion or they didn’t want to follow their previous religion anymore. The religion gradually gained converts. Article 2 states that whosoever serves the Buddha and correctly observes the commandments … will at the end of his life will behold the Buddha and be enlightened in his spirit, will then enter Nirvana. This is stated in Document Two by Zhi Dun, a Chinese scholar and author. He was confident of the Chinese aristocrats and high officials during the period when northern China was invaded by central Asian steppe nomads in Circa 350 C.E. In some cases some ancient Chinese questioned the religion of Buddhism. Article 3 depicts just that. It states two questions and two answers. One of the questions asked by a Chinese scholar was this “If Buddhism is the greatest and most venerable of ways, why did the great sages of the past and Confucius not practice it? In the Confucian Classics no one mentions it. Why, then, do you love the Way of the Buddha and rejoice in outlandish arts? Can the writings of the Buddha exceed the Classics and commentaries and beautify the accomplishments of the sages? His answer that the scholar received was this. “All written works need not necessarily book the words of Confucius. To compare the sages to the Buddha would be like comparing a white deer to a unicorn, or a swallow to a phoenix. The...
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