This is a lecture held at the Calgary Public Library in Alberta, Canada, in which Dr. Brian J. Nichols from the Mount Royal University talks about the history and revival of Buddhism in China.
The lecture begins by giving an overview of the history of Buddhism, including its transference to China in the first century of the common era.
Buddhism really became established as the national religion during the Tang dynasty (7th-10th c.), but even during that time it was occasionally suppressed by hostile emperors.
Although somewhat eclipsed during the later middle ages, Buddhism always managed to find a place in Chinese life, until there was a general turning against religion at the turn of the 20th century.
Following the establishment of the communist government in 1949 there followed a period of restriction and then an intense effort to eradicate religion in the country.
After the Cultural Revolution had come to an end in the mid-70s, there was a change of policy and religion is now tolerated, but under certain controls, and in certain forms.
Brian Nichols explains the current situation in a very clear and meaningful way, and anyone interested in the future of Buddhism in China would do well to watch this lecture.
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