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Contextualizing Buddhist Approaches to Religious Diversity

When and How Buddhist Intellectuals Address Confucianism and Daoism (3rd–9th c)
  • Shi Zhiru

Abstract

From its arrival in China at the turn of the Common Era, Buddhism had had to contend with native religious or philosophical traditions with dauntingly long histories and ideological associations with the state. While Buddhists could have just dismissed the majority of non-Buddhist positions as heterodoxy (other teaching), the realities of religious transmission, economic patronage, and state religious policies catapulted Buddhist leaders in early medieval China to come to terms with cultural and religious diversities. In particular, Confucianism was so deeply entrenched in the Chinese court and society that any explicit subversion of it would have been disastrous for the future of Buddhism in the new territories of China. Consequently, medieval Chinese Buddhists quickly developed strategies toward competing traditions that could be fruitfully studied as Buddhist approaches toward religious diversity.

Keywords

Religious Diversity Chinese Thought Imperial Examination Buddhist Teaching Binary Pair 
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Notes

  1. 1.
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  28. 49.
    As an official institution, the imperial examination, called keju 科舉, is usually traced to Emperor Yang of Sui Dynasty. However, an early form of imperial examination was already practiced during the reign of Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty. Ichisada Miyazaki, China’s Examination Hell: The Civil Service Examinations of Imperial China (New York: Weatherhill, 1976; Reprint, 1981);Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Perry Schmidt-Leukel and Joachim Gentz 2013

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  • Shi Zhiru

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