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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 26 September 2021

“Buddhism Enters China” in Early Medieval China

“Buddhism Enters China” in Early Medieval China

(p.13) 1 “Buddhism Enters China” in Early Medieval China
Old Society, New Belief

Robert Ford Campany

Oxford University Press

Narratives are important platforms for religious thought and vehicles of religious persuasion. They are not merely “didactic,” and they do not just flesh out, secondarily, religious doctrines. The early medieval centuries in China (c.200–600) saw the importation of Buddhism as well as the rise of organized Daoist religions. Members of both of these traditions sought to position their own understandings and priorities against the other. But there were other contending viewpoints as well, including classicist tradition and local religion. Proponents of all of these perspectives generated, recorded, and transmitted narratives to explain and justify their positions vis-à-vis each other. This chapter examines this general phenomenon in the early medieval period and then analyzes in detail some particular stories as examples. It was, in part, by the fashioning and exchange of stories that the similarities, differences, and relations among multiple religious repertoires were negotiated.

Keywords:   medieval narratives, Buddhist stories, Daoist stories, Religious narratives, Chinese metaphors

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