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To what degree did Buddhism provide a basis for cultural exchange and trade along the Silk Road?
Religion and Theology
Pages 6 (1506 words)
To what degree did Buddhism provide a basis for cultural exchange and trade along the Silk Road? Name: Institution: To what degree did Buddhism provide a basis for cultural exchange and trade along the Silk Road? Buddhism is an indigenous Indian religion encompassing various traditions, practices and beliefs founded largely on the teachings provided by Siddhartha Gautama, who came to be known commonly as the Buddha, denoting the “awakened”.
On the other hand, the Silk Road, also known as the Silk Route, is comprised of a progression of cultural and trade conduction routes that extend about 4,000 miles (Whitfield 2004, p. 23). It got its name from the Chinese silk trade that was conducted along it from the 206 BC era of the Han Dynasty and greatly contributed to the civilization and development of China, Arabia, Europe, Persia and the Indian subcontinent. Silk was the main item of trade but, inadvertently, different cultures, philosophies and religions interacted as economic and political exchanges took place between different civilizations. The diversity of the cultures that interacted on the Silk Road is evident in the manner in which it linked China, India, Europe and the Middle East and facilitated Buddhism’s transmission to China from India and, consequently, Japan and Korea. Buddhist missionaries, travelers and merchants carried along their religious convictions, values and beliefs to distant territories, attracting converts along the way. This paper will discuss the degree to which Buddhism provided a basis for cultural exchange and trade along the Silk Road. ...
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