Ancient China Map

Religions in Ancient China


tang-buddhism.gif Buddhism: Brought into China during the Jin Dynasty. Founded in India by Siddhartha Guatama (the Buddha). Emphasized the 4 Noble Truths and the 8 Fold Path. The 4 Noble Truths are 1) Life is Suffering, 2) Suffering is caused by Desire, 3) People can understand and overcome Desire 4) There is and 8 fold path out of Suffering.

The 8 Fold Path is: 1) Recognize Suffering, 2) Want to free yourself from Suffering, 3) Demonstrate Right Conduct, 4) Demonstrate right speech, 5) Demonstrate right livelihood, 6) Demonstrate right endeavor (cannot eat meat), 7) Demonstrate right awareness, 8) Demonstrate right contemplation.

Buddhism eventually split into many sects and is still a major religion in much of East Asia. Other countries such as Tibet, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and others all follow Buddhism.

Buddhist worship in temples, seen in the examples below,

Chinese Buddhist Temple

Korean Buddhist Temple

Vietnamese Buddhist Temple


confucius-temple.jpg Confucianism: developed by a man named Confucius in the 4th century. He promoted his ideas around China and gathered many followers who wrote down his teachings and this created the religion of Confucianism. The religion focused on Filial Piety and Five Relationships. Filial Piety meant that you know your role in your family, you show respect to your ancestors including your parents when they die.

The Five Relationships that any Confucian should follow and respect are: Ruler to Subject, Husband to Wife, Father to Son, Elder Brother to Younger Brother, and Friend to Friend.

Confucius wanted men to become gentlemen, where they would create a certain way of life, be highly moral people, and place high belief in integrity and character. Gentlemen should advise their ruler only if they thought that their ruler was not a moral or just person. The ideal ruler was one who ruled by virtue because laws did not work.

Confucianism ended up governing much of Ancient Eastern Asia. Countries such as Korea and Japan adopted the ideas of Confucius to fit their own religious and political styles.

Examples of Confucian Temples include,

Confucian Temple in China

Confucian Temple in Korea

Confucian Temple in Japan


Daoism (Taoism): created by Laozi and Zhuangzi during the 4th century. Focused on private life and nature, saw that a perfect being was like water, where you are silent instead of talking, yield instead of asserting, and you were to follow the Dao (the way) and nothing else.

Examples of Daoist (Taoist) include:

Daoist Temple in Korea

Daoist Shrine in China