Buddhism and China’s Spiritual Beliefs


(Translated by Adrian Chan-Wyles PhD)

The indigenous spiritual beliefs of China are Confucianism and Daoism. These paths are centred on the idea of the achievement of Sagehood with these enlightened beings often referred to as philosophers of religion. As China’s culture has placed a great emphasis upon the recording of history, and the replication of tradition, these spiritual beliefs have been transmitted intact over thousands of years. As a result, Chinese culture highly respects the elderly, and values their experience. China has never had the Western notion of secularism – where spirituality is separate from everyday life – nor the convention that the nobility are separate from the clergy, etc. Although distinct spiritual paths with unique teachings and understandings, Confucianism and Daoism have in many ways integrated with one another. When Indian Mahayana Buddhism arrived in China, it was integrated into both Confucianism and Daoism, and this process of assimilation gave this foreign teaching a distinct Chinese cultural flavour. This synthesis created the tradition of Chinese Buddhism.


Extracted from the Original Chinese Language Article



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