Buddhism in Chinese History by Arthur F. Wright

By Arthur F. Wright

The concept and society of Han China --
The interval of guidance --
The interval of domestication --
The interval of autonomous development --
The interval of appropriation --
The legacy of Buddhism in China.

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Buddhism in Chinese History

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The interval of guidance --
The interval of domestication --
The interval of self sufficient progress --
The interval of appropriation --
The legacy of Buddhism in China.

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In this process the freeholding peasant, whose life was H an China 19 at best one of grinding toil, found himself in dire straits. As the great estates grew, the tax burden upon him became intolerable, and he had few alternatives before him. Many peasants chose to become the dependents of powerful land­ lords and work as laborers or sharecroppers on large es­ tates. Other peasants took to banditry, but this was a pre­ carious life. Vast numbers, displaced from the villages by taxation, famine, or flood, lived on relief—a potential recruiting field for dissident uprisings.

90-165) was led to this view by his searching critique of the society from which he had withdrawn in protest. Ts’ui Shih (ca. ), from his intense practical activity within the decaying political structure, developed a dislike of Confucian homilies equaled only by his hatred of the idle and extravagant holders of capital sinecures. His ex­ perience led him to feel that only strong and uniform laws could rebuild state and society, that addiction to ancient formulas would produce nothing but inanition and final disintegration.

D . 71. See "Le* Oriffine* de la communaute bouddhtate de Lo-yanf,” Journal aiialique, CCX XY ( 19 3 4 )* 9 « - 9 ** 10 See Paul Dem idville, “ La P d n itra tio n du Bouddhiirae dans la tradition phiiosophique chinoise,1’ C a h u tt d'hitloira mondiale, I II (1956), 19-38. This was D hirm arakfa’i translation o f one o f the visions o f the Ptaioi-pSramitS tofra. 36 The Period of Preparation from childhood. Associated with him were a father and a son—two Chinese lay adherents—who were the first serious Chinese Buddhist exegetists.

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