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Issues With Buddhism And Christianity In China

1247 words - 5 pages

A wide variety of religions have been practiced in China since the beginning of its history of China history. The introduction of Buddhism and Christianity to China is complicated by several of the same issues. Buddhism was first introduced into China at the beginning of the Eastern Han. This had something to do with the opening of the Western Regions, which made travel between China and India easier than before. The Silk Road also, paved the way for the introduction of Christianity. The Silk Road was a key factor that both religions existed in China. The Silk Road made the possibly of China being open to foreign ideas and cultures of Buddhism and Christianity that wouldn't otherwise reach China. Without the Silk Road, China would not be able to experience the two religions.Another similarity is that with the introduction of Buddhism and Christianity, people of China believe that the religions had been an insult to the native deities and had thus been the cause of plagues and natural disasters. Chinese society at the time of introduction regarded both Christianity and Buddhism as a foreign religion. Both religions were criticized for its practices and belief. Buddhism was under attack from Confucian and Daoist Scholars about concepts such as monasticism and individual spiritual enlightenment directly contradicted the core Confucian principles of family. Confucianism promoted social stability, order, strong families, and practical living. Confucian officials questioned how a monk's personal attainment of nirvana benefited the empire. Much of Buddhism seemed alien and amoral to Chinese sensibilities when it was first introduced. Early Christianity was under attack because of it contradictories with the Chinese tradition of ancestor and Chinese folk religion. Confucianism, Buddhism, and Daoism all practice the veneration of ancestors in form or another. Christianity argued that Chinese folk religion and offerings to the emperor and departed ancestors constituted idolatry thus were incompatible with Christianity's idea of one god. Both religions did not have much success when it was first introduced into the Chinese culture. Both religions were questioned by the dominant Chinese religion at the time.At first, Buddhism did not achieve much success. Over time Buddhism became a popular force in the lives of the Chinese, from the common people to the emperor himself. Later on, Buddhism rivaled Daoism and Confucianism in popularity and political influences. One of the key forces of Buddhism's early success was Daoism. To help the Chinese comprehend Buddhist concepts, Buddhists borrowed ideas from Daoism via the Chinese language. Both Buddhism and Daoism benefited from this exchange. Daoists expanded their ideas about the cosmos and ways to structure their monastic orders. Buddhists gained a lexicon that made it easier to teach their tradition. However with the introduction of Christianity, it had nothing to borrow from, it is completely foreign to those...

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