East Asian Studies

In premodern East Asia, Confucianism and Buddhism provided people with a way to understand their world and create order in their society. In this regard, they resemble something like what we today call religion — and, like other religions around the world, were used for various social and political ends. Drawing on lecture and the readings, consider the political and social uses of Confucianism and/or Buddhism in ONE or TWO of the following time periods: the Han Dynasty, the Six Dynasties period, the Sui and Tang Dynasties, Three-Kingdoms Korea, and Asuka-period Japan. In the period(s) under consideration, how was religion (Buddhism and/or Confucianism) used by elites politically as ideologies in support of those in power? Did the religion(s) under consideration, at the same time, provide a framework for dissent? If so, how? What were the specific ideas that were put to use to either support or critique those in power? By whom? Depending on the period(s) you choose, you may, but do not need to, discuss how other modes of thought (e.g., Daoism, Sun worship) were also incorporated into political ideology. Cite and analyze specific examples to support your argument.

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