Buddhism In China Dbq

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Buddhism originated in India, and spread to China during the early CE. It was met with many different and mixed reactions. Many Chinese saw it as a threat to traditional customs. They criticized the lack of mention of Buddhism in Confucian texts and went as far as to blame political and social problems on it. Others saw Buddhism in a more positive light. They accepted the religion with an open mind and, in time, came to defend it. Others still remained neutral in this matter. They wanted all Chinese practices, Buddhism and Confucianism among others, to be accepted so that a unique Chinese culture could be created. Documents 6 and 4 criticize and discourage the spread of Buddhism in China, while documents 3 and 2 defend and support it. Document…show more content…
In document 4, Han Yu mocks Buddhism by calling it a “cult” and criticizes its absence from Confucian texts by stating “…barbarian peoples spread (it) to China. It did not exist here in ancient times”. In this manner, he makes the teachings of Buddhism appear false while making Confucian teachings appear true. Although Han Yu’s position in the court should render his views standard, it remains obvious that the commoners who march, as well as the Emperor who oversees the march, all feel otherwise. In document 6, Emperor Wu builds on Yu’s criticism of Buddhism as being uncustomary and lowly by saying “Buddhism has …spread like a luxuriant vine until it has poisoned the customs of our nation”. He goes on, however, to blame Buddhism for many social and political problems. Although Emperor Wu has a massive influence over China, it’s possible that his opinions merely strengthened Buddhism. Those who had been in doubt about the religion, especially the nobility, might now accept it just as an attempt to…show more content…
In document 2, Zhi Dun expresses his belief that there are many positive and joyful effects of becoming a Buddhist. It should be noted that Zhi Dun is of the nobility. Thus, his claim doesn’t accurately portray the feelings of the lower class. However, the invasion of northern China by Asian nomads had given Zhi Dun ample opportunity to criticize Buddhism as being a nontraditional corruption, but he didn’t. This might disprove Dun’s upper class bias. In document 3, and anonymous scholar uses reason and logic to counter claims against Buddhism. His niche as a student may help to identify a slight upper class bias. This bias, as well as the bias in document 2, becomes irrelevant when considering that the commoners tend to support Buddhism, as shown in the procession of document
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