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Lecture

Lecture Notes on Buddhism-February 7th


Department
Religion
Course Code
RLG100Y1
Professor
Andre Maintenay

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February 7
Buddhism
- the movement of Buddhism into Northern Asia ± China
- China already had a highly developed civilization
- 7th-11th CE ± Buddhism was extremely popular
o Buddhist monasteries flourished
- difference in language = problem with conversion
- Chinese - practice = collection of texts ± move from monastery to monastery and
gather texts
o learn Indian language ± hire Chinese scholars Æ uneven Buddhist text
o give priority to some text over others Æ how to determine?
Identify one particular teaching (sutra) as the primary one and then
look at all other texts as being supportive of that one
- development of Chinese school based on different teachings they identify ± hold
different Sutras that claim to be the most important/primary teaching ± different
philosophies
- China started to accept Buddhism through this scholastic approach ± schools
- 2 kinds of schools developed
o 1. very scholastic ± teachings
o 2. develops the experiential side of Buddhism
2 broad types of experience ± comes form the perception that we
are in the declining phase of the cycle ± ZH¶UHLQDGHJHQHUDWH
phase of the cycle ± our understanding is taken away; mentality is
challenged; therefore, in need of revitalizing that understanding
1. µ3XUHODQG - other help: argue that things are so bad that ZHFDW
help ourselves ± we need someone outside to guide us ±
µBoddhisatvas¶3XUHODQG± one of the different realms of different
Boddhisatvas/Buddhas)
2. µ&KDQ - self help: we need to help ourselves ± only achieve
enlightenment through ones own excursions
IN Japan:
1. Pureland = Jodo
2. Chan = Zen
- Buddhism developed in China then moved to Korea ± the friendliness between
Korean and Japanese king led to a shipment of Chinese scripture, monks,
languages, culture etc. to Japan in the year 538 CE
- 6th Century CE ± much less evolved than China ± therefore very happy to receive
the gifts (scripts/monks/etc.) Æ greatly appreciated/embraced by Prince
Shotoku
- adopt Chinese ways of administration (Confucianism)
- find salutary for then to unite
- before Buddhism the prominent religion = Shinto
- Pureland and Chan developed in the Kamakura period (12th-14th century CE)
o Pretty much the same between the Japanese and Chinese
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