Taoism as a world religion

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Frige, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. Frige Aiiyaiyai, where's my samurai?

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    Feb 5, 2009
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    England, G. Britain, Europe
    Please correct anything I am probably wrong about here because I want to learn stuff :) please forgive my vague and probably misconceived overview

    Distinct from the core teachings of the Taoist classics, beginning with Zhang Daoling sects thrived at various times in China and organised communities as distinct centres of power separate from traditional elites and central government, with priests and mass congregations. Because of that we could say they were somewhat similar to the Christian church before Constantine. However these traditions did not maintain this kind of organisation or exclusivity. While the state, officials and emperors later supported Taoism at various times it was never really at the expense of other folk traditions, when China was less divided, at least, this was more at the expense of foreign religions and Confucianism. In modern times Chinese Buddhism shares a municipal, syncretic character with Taoism but Taoism is even more closely integrated with other religious tradition.

    Buddhism had some difficult times in India and I am wondering if things go worse for Buddhism, while Taoism maintained both state favour and distinct organisation, Taoism could spread along the silk road as Buddhism did. Without Islam or *Islam, there would then be big populations of non-Chinese practising Taoism, and I did read that Islam only really got going in central Asia with the Golden Horde. Or going earlier, maybe religious Taoism could beat Buddhism to Japan? Or south-east Asia?
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
  2. Daztur Seoulite

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    Aug 18, 2011
    Well in Korea Taoism had a good bit of influence but it mostly merged in nicely with Buddhism and shamanism rather than remaining distinct. But yeah, dropping a big brick on Buddhism should open a lot of room for Taoism, certainly in Korea and Japan.
     
  3. maidros Well-Known Member

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    Jun 11, 2010
    The problem with Taoism is that it (like Buddhism, Jainism, many forms of Hinduism, etc) is not an exclusive or God based religion and will try to coexist with other religions. Faced with a monotheistic religion like Islam or Christianity, it will sink into the culture, rather than be a religion. If you want it to be a world religion, you need to solve this problem.
     
  4. Daztur Seoulite

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    Aug 18, 2011
    Well that hardly prevented Buddhism from expanding...
     
  5. maidros Well-Known Member

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    Jun 11, 2010
    It was also why Buddhism got replaced by Islam in Central Asia so quickly and easily.