Historical development of Buddhism in China and Japan 1

  • Created by: Liv1996
  • Created on: 10-04-14 16:58

Indigenous traditions of China

When Buddhism was introducing in China, in the 1st century CE, it encountered an advanced civilisation with highly developed religious, philisophical, socail and political systems of its own. Buddhism never replaced them, but grew along side them. The two main influences on Chinease Buddhism were Confucianism and Taoism.


Confucious (551-479BCE) established this main system of ethical behaviour, it consisted of guidlines for the behaviour of individuals and society. The fundamental virtues included, respect for others, courtesy, hard work, social concern and worshiping ones parents. Moral behaviour is motivated by a genuine sense of loving kindness towards others. The golden rule of confusianism is 'Do as you would be done by'

Human beings are seen as one point is a triangle of forces: earth, man and an impersonal heaven, the emperor is the mediator of these forces and is highly respected. this gives way to a hierarchical social and political system, in which eveyone knows their place, and must pay respect to their superiors.

Confucious never mentioned reward or punishment for moral bahaviour in an afterlife, he was concerned with the best way of living this life. T'ien is where one can place one's trust when things go wrong on earth, but it is not humans to speculate about heavenly matters.

Before the common era, Confucianism had developed the classic I Ching, now well known in the west, based on the harmony between the two principles, yin and yang. Yin stands for darkness, pasivity and femininity. Yang stands for light, activity and masculinity, these were applied to medice and diet.

Under the sun dynasty (960-1279CE) Confucionism became the official state cult. It was known as neo-Confucianism because it was heavily influenced by Taoism and Buddhism. all government officials had to take exams based on knowledge of Confucian classics, and this system of thought remained the dominent influence on the…


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