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The Interrelationships Between Buddhism and Politics Within the Two Costal Nations: Taiwan and China

  • Date Submitted: 07/12/2012 09:32 PM
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The Interrelationships between Buddhism and Politics
                  Within the Two Costal Nations: Taiwan and China




  It is not intuitive to connect the ideas of religion and politics since the former discusses spirituality and the latter is concerned with practical matters of social organization. However, with political support, Buddhism in many areas have flourished and conversely, with the suppression by political powers, Buddhism development does not stand a chance; thus, there is an inevitable connection between Buddhism and politics. This rule applies to China and Taiwan as well. In this dissertation, Buddhism in China and Taiwan in different stages with particular emphasis on its engagement with politics will be discussed. The first stage is during the early era; the second stage is before World War II: mainly the first half of the 20th century; the third stage is during the post-war period.

Buddhism in the early period
  In order to fully understand the roots of Buddhism in China one must understand the history of how Buddhism was introduced into Chinese society. Generations of scholar have debated different hypothesis of how Buddhism reached China. Many of them believed that Buddhism was first brought to China from India by missionaries and traders along the Silk Road that connected China with Europe in the late Han Dynasty (Rong 26-27). It was not until the “The golden age of Buddhism”, Tang Dynasty, Buddhism   adopted by the imperial family and became thoroughly sinicized and a permanent part of the Chinese traditional culture (Ebrey 121).During Tang ,Monk Xuanzang journeyed to India and visited over one hundred kingdoms, wrote extensive and detailed reports of his findings and translated massive amount of Buddhist texts, have subsequently become important for the study of Buddhism during this period and had significant contribution to the later study of Buddhism in China (Beal 15).
  By the time Ming Dynasty...


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