taoism vs buddhism vs confucianism
- Philosophical Taoism that is based on texts Zhuangzi and Dao De Jing
- Religious Taoism that originated from the Celestial Masters movement
- Folk Taoism that is the Chinese folk religion.
- Theravada is the School of the Elders
- Mahayana is the Great Vehicle.
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The RELIGIOUS IMPULSE in CHINA (12 of 12)
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Historically, the three religions have complemented and also conflicted with each other in equal measures. Different schools of thoughts were greatly encouraged in China way before the Qin Dynasty. Confucianism and Taoism came to the forefront after the Hans Dynasty and co-existed with Buddhism. The relationship between the three is pretty much complicated at some point conflicting and at other times blending in seamlessly. All the three teachings have in one way or another involved in the socio-cultural function of humanizing the general Chinese populace. Having developed for more than 2000 years, the three have become quite essential entities of the traditional Chinese ideological culture.
Just like Confucianism, Buddhist has promoted filial piety and even regarded it as the “unquestionable moral truth”. The three doctrines are clearly interacting with their doctrines changing and influencing the Chinese traditional ethics culture.
When it comes to relationships, Taoists see women representing Yin and men representing Yang, and the way to harmony means that a woman and a man should get in a relationship and commit to each other. A balance is achieved when the man accepts the yin chi from the woman and the woman receives yang chi from the man. Sometimes, the concept of marriage is linked with Tao in the sense that marriage can be seen as a path towards the future and new life can be created through marriage. Babies are perceived as new life and the hope for the future. Because Taoists stress the importance of a balance between opposing forces, the relationship between a husband and a wife should also be characterized by a peaceful harmony. This means that conflicts and serious arguments should be avoided as much as possible. The couple can achieve this harmony by behaving in a loving and caring manner and by showing empathy, humility, and compassion for one another. To achieve this state of mind, one has to practice self-reflection and emotional control and try to understand other people. (Huffington Post, 2012.) For Buddhists, marriage is a choice and there is no obligation for them to marry. In Buddhism, marriage is often considered a secular affair instead of a sacrament. Cohabitation is allowed as long as it makes both individuals happy. Unhappiness can prevent the couple from reaching enlightenment. Divorce and remarrying are allowed and can even be regarded as compassionate actions if they make the individuals happier and reduces their suffering. Those who choose to get married can obtain blessings from the monks at their local temple. (BBC, 2017.)
This paper makes an attempt to identify the key similarities and differences between these two eastern religions, focusing on their central tenets and the overall impact on culture.