Friday, March 24, 2017
China Embraces Religion! Really!
The New York Times Review has a terrific essay called "China's Communists Embrace Religion."
Mao crushed most all religion including Confucianism and Buddhism. But now, Buddhism is making a comeback and one endorsed at the highest levels of government.
Christianity has not fared as well, but according to Ian Johnson, the essay's author, Xi is probably "better disposed" to China's traditional religions like Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism than to a foreign religion like Christianity or even Islam.
This is not the only time in Chinese history in which leaders embraced religion. Buddhism played a prominent role in the Tang Dynasty, for example.
Other leaders in other parts of the world also embraced religion. India's Asoka embraced Buddhism in the 4th Century BCE and Constantine embraced Christianity in the early 4th century CE.
In all these instances, leaders saw religion as a way to strengthen their government, just asXi apparently now sees traditional Chinese religion.
By George Coe - March 24, 2017
The Tibetan Book of the Dead is probably one of most well-known Tibetan Buddhist texts in the West. It describes the stages of death from...