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Old Society, New BeliefReligious transformation of China and Rome, ca. 1st-6th Centuries$
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Mu-chou Poo, H. A. Drake, and Lisa Raphals

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190278359

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190278359.001.0001

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Buddhism Challenged, Adopted, and in Disguise

Buddhism Challenged, Adopted, and in Disguise

Daoist and Buddhist Interactions in Medieval China

(p.109) 7 Buddhism Challenged, Adopted, and in Disguise
Old Society, New Belief

Gil Raz

Oxford University Press

The arrival of Buddhism China during the first centuries of the common-era led to major changes in the Chinese religious landscape. Despite its foreign origins, Buddhism soon found Chinese adherents and by the fifth century was widespread and popular throughput China and among all social classes, from the royal courts to the aristocracy and the commoners. Some Chinese, however, viewed this popularity of Buddhism as challenging the fabric of Chinese society and culture. Indeed, many scholars explain the emergence of Daoism as a communal religion in medieval China as a response to Buddhism. The Chinese who rejected Buddhism emphasized that Buddhism was a religion of the foreign, and it was created by Laozi, the ancient Daoist sage, to “convert the barbarians.” This paper aims to examine a variety of interactions between Buddhists and Daoists in medieval China as they argued and debated their place in Chinese society.

Keywords:   Laozi, Daoism, religious conversion, contestation, huahu

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