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Han Buddhism and the Western Region [24]

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Chapter Summary

This chapter presents three sectors (hybrid court Buddhism, the Church of Luoyang, diffuse borrowing of Buddhist elements) in bare outline, without referring to the many studies that have been written about almost every item in the list. Royal patronage is an extremely important factor, not only because of the material benefits directly connected with it, but also because it facilitates the spread of Buddhism within the ruler's territory. It is equally surprising that for almost two centuries Serindia appears to have played the role of a neutral transit zone, in spite of the existing lines of communication between east and west. The founding fathers of the Church of Luoyang were not Kucheans or Khotanese, but monks from the far western periphery. Rather than being treated as the first, heroic period of Buddhism in China, Han Buddhism should be regarded as its embryonic stage.

Keywords: China; Church of Luoyang; Han Buddhism; hybrid court Buddhism; royal patronage; Serindia



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