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Buddhism has a significant following in China since its introduction in the first century from India (Adler, 2002). It is based on the teachings, beliefs and practices of its founder, Siddhartha Gautama, widely known as Buddha. From its inception, Buddhism has existed under two main categories – the Theravada and Mahayana – and each had followers in different parts of Asia. Initially, Buddhism teachings and beliefs met a stiff resistance from the Chinese society due to its concept of monasticism and repugnance to social affairs. This beliefs and practices went against the traditional Chinese norms and standards. Buddhism was seen as retrogressive and barbaric practice that was a threat to the state authority; and that Buddhist monasteries were of no value to the economy of the state. As a way of making it appeal to the Chinese society, Buddhism concepts were matched to Taoism by the first Indian translators (Adler, 2002). Subsequently, it started to appeal to the elites and intellectuals, and a new genre of Buddhism was formed as an alternative to Taoism and Confucianism. Taoism is a belief and philosophical tradition that is based in living in harmony with Tao. Tao is a principle of “path” or “way” and is also found among other Chinese traditional religions and philosophies (Adler, 2002). ...
This different schools are not institutionalized and do not forbid their followers from believing and practicing multiplicity of school’s of beliefs and philosophies including, Confucianism and Chinese folk religion. Chinese folk religions comprise of traditional beliefs system based on mythology that practice the worship of deities – clan, cities, national and cultural deities - and demigods. Folk religion in china has been classified with Taoism since mainstream Taoism has been trying to assimilate customary religions. Confucianism is a belief system based on ethics and philosophical teachings of Confucius. Confucianism has been the official state ideology of the country since the fall of the Qin dynasty (Adler, 2002). Traditional Chinese religions have been largely an individual focused beliefs and philosophy that never demand exclusive adherence of followers. Existence of religion in China before the influence of the West Religion in China existed in the form a belief systems developed by philosophers and other idealist based on the traditional Chinese folk religion. These belief systems were never forced upon the people and were adhered in order to realize high moral and intellectual understanding of life. Buddhism for instance, was introduced to china from India along the Silk Road region and to make it appeal to the Chinese society and political class, it had to assimilate traditional, folk practices (Adler, 2002). Some of the beliefs of traditional Chinese society fit the description of religious rites such as veneration of ancestors. This practice is aimed at showing a deceased family member respect and cements the family ties between the dead and ...Show more

Summary

Chinese Religion Name Institution Chinese Religion Chinese traditional religion has been set apart from contemporary definition of religion by being pluralistic. It has placed more emphasis on the family rather than demand a restricted adherence by the members…
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