T Ang Dynasty Religion

Improved Essays
In the seventh and eighth centuries CE in China, Christianity and Buddhism had an amenable and receptive relationship. This affiliation between the two growing religions remained agreeable due to religious tolerance in the T’ang Dynasty. Yet, when the T’ang Dynasty began to lose power, religious pluralism was no longer tolerated. Alopen, a Syrian Nestorian monk, arrived in Chang-an in 635. Emperor T’ai-tsung granted Alopen a license for religion in 638, officially marking Christianity’s beginning in China. The Sian-fu stele, erected in 781, names Christianity the “Luminous Religion” and describes the emperor reading Alopen’s scriptures upon his arrival. The design at the top of the stele contains an embossed cross rising out of a lotus flower, a symbol of rebirth in Buddhism. Along the Silk Road, the city of Dunhaung contains 800 caves from the 4th through fourteenth centuries and these caves highlight the compatible relationship between religions in China in the T’ang empire. When discovered in 1900, cave seventeen held religious art produced during the T’ang Dynasty from Buddhism, Zoroastianism, Judaism, Confucianism, Hinduism, and Christianity. The reigning emperor endorsing Christianity dramatically influenced the receptive relationship between Christianity and Buddhism. By granting a religious license to Alopen, …show more content…
Manipulating the court for power, claiming to be the maitreya (future) Buddha, and surrounding herself with Buddhist advisers, Wu-huo promoted Buddhism as the official state cult as empress. Beginning in 698 through the early eighth century churches and monasteries were destroyed in Loyang and Chang-an. In 786 imperial ruling commanded the differentiation between the “clear” Buddhist religion and “muddy” Christianity. By the end of the eighth century, the already declining T’ang Dynasty

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