Comparative Religion in China & Japan How Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism Interact
Contrasting Worldviews:Taoism vs Confucianism • Romanticism: trust your heart, not your head. Reason sometimes allows us to mislead ourselves and betray our innermost desires • Nature wins out over civilization. • Mystical • Anti-intellectual • Rules are oppressive and distort our true desires. Unnatural social norms make us unhappy and stifle creativity, • Rationalism: trust your head over your heart. Your emotions could get the best of you and cause you to do something foolish. • Civilization allows man to conquer and master nature. • Logical • Intellectual • Rules and order make society better, safer and more prosperous
Domains of Popularity Understanding death and the afterlife Family values, work ethic, education. Personal spirituality, rituals and holiday celebrations Buddhist Traditions } Since the 1950s Maoist ideology worked hard to wipe out these 2 traditions, yet they survive still. Confucian Traditions Taoist traditions Example: Falun gong is an illegal Neo-Taoist movement.
How One Religion Affects Another Buddhist Traditions Taoist traditions Confucian Traditions 1. Confucius was elevated to the status of a divine being under the influence of………… Mahayana Buddhism was much more easily imported into China than Theravada. Taoist traditions Taoist traditions 2. The many bodhisattvas of Mahayana fits well with……. 3. Theravada’s emphasis on celibate monks and nuns tends to conflict with ……… Confucian Traditions Confucian Traditions 4. As Buddhism grew in China, _________ had to adapt and become more mystical and meditative . Taoist traditions 5. In order to keep its credibility, ___________ had to become more philosophical so it could be taken seriously by the Imperial court. 6. The Tang dynasty pushed out Confucianism as the state ideology and replaced it with a new foreign import that had been growing for several centuries…… Buddhist Traditions
Maitreya Buddha is the future Buddha who is yet to come In India In China
2 Important Schools of Mahayana Buddhism took root in China and spread from there 1. Pure Land Buddhism The Amitabah Buddha will bring all who are devoted to his name into this heavenly land in the afterlife.
2. Chen Buddhism Zen Buddhism To Japan To USA To China Zen Garden Japanese Tea Service Zen koans(meditative puzzles): What is the sound of one hand clapping? Bodhidharma: Buddhist monk from India 600 AD
Shinto is Japan’s Native ReligionConfucianism, Taoism and Buddhism from China have syncretized with Shinto over many centuries 2 Japanese books of early legends: the Kojiki and the Nihongi A great cosmic egg contains the undivided male & female Izanagi and Izanami create the islands of Japan and all its creatures.
Kami are spirits of mountains, hills, streams etc. Shrines are set up to them. Ancient shinto was an animistic nature religion.
Over time the kami began to be anthropomorphized (began looking like people). Ex: Amateratzu was the kami of the sun. The emperor of Japan was said to be the descendent of Ameratzu. In the 20th century, Japan made recruited Shinto as a state religion to support its war effort. It re-educated people into seeing the Emperor as a divine being. As a condition of surrender after World War II, the Allies forced the Emperor Hirohito to go on the radio and make a “humanity declaration”, telling the people of Japan that he is not a living god.
Torii: this shape marks the entry to a holy place that has been purified