Using the knowledge of world history and documents, evaluate the changes in the acceptance of Buddhism in China from the collapse of the Han Dynasty in 200 CE to the end of the Tang Dynasty in 907 CE.
From the collapse of the Han Dynasty in 200 CE to the end of the Tang Dynasty in 907 CE there was multiple changes in the acceptance of Buddhism in China. Although there was changes in the acceptance of Buddhism the feedback of the religion was fairly mixed. In the beginning there were those who would accept Buddhism, but as the religion started to spread, some chinese saw that Buddhism threatened their already set way of living.
Buddhism was introduced to China at the collapse of the Han Dynasty. Buddhism was originally founded in India in the 6th century bce. Because of the collapse of the Han Dynasty, there was a period of instability where some of China looked to Buddhism because it established order.
In the beginning of Buddhism in China, the chinese accepted the religion due to its idea of the loss of suffering and its stability. According to document 2, 3, and 1, the acceptance of Buddhism was well, due to the idea of Nirvana and the release of pain and suffering. In document 2, Zhi Dun explains the idea of Nirvana and how one can achieve it and become enlightened. Around 350 CE China was invaded by nomads and during that time Zhi Dun wrote about how if a person follows the path of Buddhism correctly. The text that Zhi Dun wrote helped Buddhism be accepted by some of the Chinese due to the benefits that Buddhism presented. In document 3 it talks about a monk who makes a journey and on the way he witnesses poverty and disorder. In seeing the problems he helps to spread and gain more followers of Buddhism. The document was created to show that Buddhism was used to help cope with the harshness of living conditions, people accepted Buddhism in order to relieve themselves of the pain and suffering. In document 1, the map shows the origin location of Buddhism and how it spread to China. The map shows that Buddhism was spread through the trade routes, as the merchants would do trade they would also promote Buddhism as a way to help with problems and those who were in need accepted Buddhism as a way to cope.
The acceptance of Buddhism started to decline due to the aspects that it presented. In documents 5 and 7, the acceptance of Buddhism changes to negative because of the views of the traditions. In document 5 Han Yu talks about negative response to Buddhism because it contradicts and goes against what China believes in. The Chinese did not believe and like things that weren’t Chinese so naturally having a religion that goes against what they believe didn’t help spread acceptance. In document 7 the Tang Emperor Wu states the distaste of Buddhism in China because of its threat to the customs of China. Buddhism was said to have crept into China and poisoned it from within.
The acceptance of Buddhism for some changed to some acceptance, but still not fully accepting the traditions. In document 6 Zong Mi talks about the positives of accepting Buddhism, but he also pointed out the flaws of the teachings. The teachings of Buddhism tell that through the right ways of life one can get good rewards, but the ones who teach the lessons differ in ideas.
During the Tang Dynasty in China Buddhism spread to Japan. China and Japan were close partners. Japan wanted to be more like China in more ways than just politically. Japan adopted and converted to Buddhism to become more like China.