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Buddhism in China

« Ancient Civlizations of China

Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism in China »

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Buddhism in China

From Wikipedia

According to some European historians, Mauryan emperor Aśoka the Great sent the royal monk Massim Sthavira to India, Nepal, Bhutan, and China to spread Buddhism around 265 BCE. However, it has not been widely confirmed that these missionaries arrived in China or that they were responsible for establishing the teachings of Buddhism there.

Generations of scholars have debated whether Buddhist missionaries first reached Han China via the maritime or overland routes of the Silk Road. The maritime route hypothesis, favored by Liang Qichao and Paul Pelliot, proposed that Buddhism was originally practiced in southern China, the Yangtze River and Huai River region, where prince Ying of Chu (present day Jiangsu) was jointly worshipping the Yellow Emperor, Laozi, and Buddha in 65 CE. The overland route hypothesis, favored by Tang Yongtong, proposed that Buddhism disseminated eastward through Yuezhi and was originally practiced in western China, at the Han capital Luoyang (present day Henan), where Emperor Ming of Han established the White Horse Temple in 68 CE. Rong Xinjiang, a history professor at Peking University, reexamined the overland and maritime hypotheses through a multi-disciplinary review of recent discoveries and research, including the Gandhāran Buddhist Texts, and concluded.

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