Date: May 16, 2019 06:54PM
This is rich.
> It's when you don't read very closely, so you
> don't realize that the etiquette referred to was
> Confucian not Buddhist.
Really? I misread it? Your sentence is
"The peasants rarely grasped true Buddhism, although a handful did, which is indicated by their beliefs in the afterlife and demons; even they did partake in the etiquette system to some degree."
The topic of that sentence is Buddhism, not Confucianism. For you to claim that I should have known you were speaking about Confucianism is silly.
Then you write that I misunderstood a second part of that sentence. As you put it, your point was that the Chinese gods came from folk religion and not Buddhism.
But the clause about the gods structurally modifies the Buddhist cognoscenti. How can people understand your points if you don't offer them with the correct grammar?
> but then again I am not merely
> recycling whatever I read in "Chinese Culture for
> Dummies TM" and "The Beginner's Guide to Chinese
> Syncretic Religious Traditions".
You believe you understand Chinese religion better than I. Amusing.
> Your idea that
> C'ism did not penetrate to or influence the lowest
> levels of society is in fact false since all
> people were governed by the Confucian system
> (prior to their society being subverted by middle
> class Marxists), and acted within its bounds.
And you got that notion of the penetration of Chinese society from whom? Arthur Waley? Tu Wei-ming? And which Confucianism are you describing? That of Kongzi and Mengzi or the version found in the Daxue or the Zhongyong ZhiDao? And why do you discount Hanfeizi in your discussion of traditional Chinese governance?
Set me straight here.
Next you take issue with my statement that little is left of Chinese Buddhism or Taoism. In your words. . .
> Now that truly is false. It is nowhere near as
> strong as it was, and many of its formal
> structures have been broken down thanks to
> Communistic vandalism and westernization, but I
> wouldn't say "there is next to nothing" left. Like
> many such systems, it still informs Chinese
> culture, much in the way Christianity still
> influences supposed atheists in the west.
Do you not realize that contemporary Chinese Buddhism is so marginal today that it is considered a subset of folk religion?*
And then there is the perspective from Singapore, which shares the general concern about "the appalling state of Buddhist institutions throughout [China], a decline that continues today as the centuries-old tradition is dogged by corruption scandals and a dearth of internationally recognised spiritual leaders."**
> There are also Chinese emigré communities outside
> the PRC who have maintained Chinese Buddhism to
> some extent. And Taiwan. And Hong Kong (which
> never suffered the full onslaught of the Cultural
> Revolution where the various groups of society
> were set against each other in a kind of reculer
> pour mieux santer to strengthen the Communist
This is an interesting paragraph. In the first place, we were discussing China and not Taiwan and/or Hong Kong. In the second, Taiwan is one of the two best cases of a government imposing Confucianism on society due to the KMT's efforts to assert its legitimacy as the proper government of China. It thus represents one of the exceptional cases that support your generalization about Confucian social penetration. Yet now you contradictorily cite Taiwan as an example of a society that preserved Buddhism?
The other case of significant penetration is Singapore, where Lee Kuan Yew used it as an organizing principle when engineering the city state's separation from Malaya. You know that, right? Then why didn't you mention it as a bastion of Confucian thought?
But the gift keeps on giving. You note that Hong Kong "never suffered the full onslaught of the Cultural Revolution." That is an understatement, for Hong Kong didn't suffer ANY onslaught of the Cultural Revolution. Because, you know, it was a different country and all.