Religions of Ancient China

Religions of Ancient China

  • The ancient Chinese are said to have three doctrines: Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism, with Christianity and Islam arriving only in the 7th century A.D. Laozi, according to tradition, was the 6th century B.C. Chinese philosopher who wrote the Tao Te Ching of Taoism. Confucius (551-479) taught morality. His philosophy became important during the Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D.220). Herbert A Giles (1845-1935), a British Sinologist who modified the Roman version of Chinese characters, says although it is often counted as a religion of China, Confucianism is not a religion, but a system of social and political morality. The Indian emperor Ashoka sent Buddhist missionaries to China in the third century.