Answer to Question #178088 in History for fbs

Question #178088

The transformation of Buddhism spread from India to China in the centuries after the collapse of the Han dynasty and under the Tang dynasty. (seventh through ninth centuries).

Explain how Buddhism changed in its beliefs and practices as it spread from South Asia to China and the ways in which Buddhism began to change the beliefs and practices of Confucianism. Also the possible reasons for the Tang emperor's suppression of Buddhist institutions in 845. 

300 words

Expert's answer

There is a paucity of historical documentation about the propagation of Buddhism into Central Asia. So far as the particulars are concerned, it is evident that the trading routes from northwestern India to China enabled the propagation of Buddhism and protection of a centuries-old Buddhist civilization there for centuries. According to records from China dating sources, the history of Buddhism, Buddhism was already in China in place by the third century BCE but was not being widely propagated in China until the early centuries of the Common Era. According to legend, Buddhism arrived in China during the reign of Emperor Ming-ti (57–76 CE to 76) was reported to have been carried by a traveling golden being, who appeared to him in a dream of his as a Buddha. This occurred, where the emperor sent messengers who brought back the Sutra "Forty-two Segments" with them, which was sent to Luoyang to the capital outside the city of China, which was then placed in a temple outside Luoyang. Regardless of how this came to be, Buddhism is more probable to have arrived in China, the more likely implies that it was introduced into Central Asia and distributed by means of trading later in that manner across the Asian peninsula.


           Buddhism has left a great impact on China and has shaped it into the country it is today. Also, the advent of Buddhism into China led to the rise of other beliefs and ideas of transformation and growth. At this period, the teachings of the Buddha were somewhat extended in China. Buddhism was established alongside Taoism and Confucian philosophy, and doctrines from these ideologies were introduced into the religion. The faith of Confucianism, unlike other religions like Buddhism and Taoism, is not a body of beliefs but a way of life and thought. Confucianism was founded by Confucius from about the year 551 to 479 BCE. According to Confucius, he did not believe himself to be the father of the religion. It is kind of ironic that he claims he is an instructor but he just wanted to help the future generations by sharing traditions from the past. In the age of the Eastern Han (or later) Dynasty (more generally regarded as Han Fragmentation), there was a period of a millennium and a half (or shorter) of religious turmoil, from 220 to 570 C. Buddhism at this period had many followers with different opinions and views on many things, ranging from being supportive to critical of. In the past, some Chinese had maintained that Taoism and Confucianism had roles in teaching peace and power, they today often see Buddhism as a root of confusion and disorganization. At the time, there were a number of those who thought that Buddhism was unsuitable for Chinese society and therefore at odds with Confucian teachings.

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