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Home » The History of China's Foreign Relations » ch. 2: buddhism and the tang

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4/9/2009 2:13:26 PM

john wills
john wills
Posts: 19
Subject: ch. 2: buddhism and the tang
Buddhism is the great pre-modern example of the Chinese culture, people, and state adopting and adapting something of obvious foreign origin. There was resistan¬ce to its foreignness. There were "domestic" factors that con¬tributed to the adaptation. But in the long run a set of texts, practices, beliefs, even a lot of language, were developed that were Chinese Buddhist in ways that make nonsense of a Chinese-foreign binary. These themes will recur in our later discussions of Chinese Christianities and of twen¬tieth-century cultural, political, and even economic trends.

Buddhism was immensely important for interaction between north and south between 300 and 600 and for the relations of Tang with all its neighbors, and remained very important for the multi-state relations of the 900's-1100's discussed in the next chapter. The dynamism and institution-building that led to the splendors of Tang came out of a multi-ethnic world in the north China plain and its northern borderlands. This multi-ethnic heritage and Buddhism contributed to the striking cosmopolitanism of the culture of the Tang elite and the great capital at Changan.

Stephen F. Teiser, "Introduction: The Spirits of Chinese Religion", in Donald S. Lopez, Jr., Religions of China in Practice

J. Gernet, A History of Chinese Civilization, pp. 210-296 [best I've found to summarize the "external", social, political history of Buddhism]

John P. Keenan, How Master Mou Removes Our Doubts: A Reader-Response Study and Translation of the Mou-tzu li-huo lun, pp. 1-11, 30-34, 84-88, 102-109.

Christopher Beckwith, The Tibetan Empire in Central Asia

E. H. Schafer, The Golden Peaches of Samarkand

E.O. Reischauer, Ennin's Travels in T'ang China
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