AHC: Get Confucianism, Buddhism etc. influential in Europe

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Changundramon, Jun 12, 2019.

  1. Changundramon Well-Known Member

    Aug 4, 2015
    How could East Asian philosophical and religious teachings gain a large number of followers in Europe, and influence the society and politics? Large enough= tens of millions of followers.
  2. Arcavius Arms and the Man I Sing

    Aug 10, 2018
    There seems to have been at least some Buddhist presence in Rome; Buddhist statues were foumd at Pompeii and one of the church fathers IIRC referenced the "worshippers of the βουττα" in their writings.

    Perhaps a Seleukid ruler pulls an Asoka and Buddhism spreads throughout the Hellenistic world, amplifying this trend?
  3. Timeline Junkie Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2018
    The Citadel, Oldtown
    I can see Buddhism become influential in Europe. Like it was mentioned earlier in thread Buddhism was known to Europe in Classical Antiquity. In addition, Schopenhauer himself was influenced by Buddhist thought so I can see Buddhism possibly influencing Classical philosophy. It would be very interesting to see Buddhism interact with Neoplatonism and Stoicism as well as Judaism.

    Unless some Europeans translate Confucian texts and then also start a trend of Confucian-mania, I doubt Confucianism will catch on in Europe. Getting Confucianism to popular in Europe is going to be really really tough.
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  4. Frrf Well-Known Member

    Aug 11, 2011
    Butterfly Christianity. It'll make it way easier to allow Buddhism and other eastern philosophical schools to gain traction, as they can happily syncretise with assorted paganisms. I could see, later on, a pagan European state that makes direct contact with China choosing to promote Confucianism for its emphasis on social order.
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  5. DN Jenkins Well-Known Member

    May 16, 2017
    You could probably have confucianism become more influential if you had some PODs in the 1500s or so.

    Essentially have the Jesuits absolutely win out in the Chinese Rites Controversy and have Confucianism be considered a secular philosophy compatible with Catholicism.

    This has the added benefit of the Chinese court being more favourable to a catholic presence in the country, which leads to an increase in inter cultural exchange.

    From there, its just a matter of having as many confucian thinkers be translated as possible and have the proper proponents in Europe to make them popular
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  6. Beacon The Light in the face of Darkness

    Apr 25, 2016
    Melbourne, Australia
    Have Genghis Khan or one of his descendants pull an Ashoka and turn to Buddhism. After that, he spreads it all the way from China to the Baltics