Article (In Korea): The Establishment and Significance of the Buddhist, Daoist, Christian and Manichaean Institutions around the Mongol Conquest of Southern China

(In Korean) “The Establishment and Significance of the Buddhist, Daoist, Christian and Manichaean Institutions around the Mongol Conquest of Southern China [蒙元帝國의 江南 정복 前後 佛敎ㆍ道敎ㆍ基督敎ㆍ摩尼敎 관리 기구의 설립 및 그 함의] Dongyang Sahak Yeonggu [Journal of Asian Historical Studies] 135, 2016, pp. 211-244.

DOI: 10.17856/jahs.2016.06.135.211 (email me if you need access)

TL;DR Summary

Different religions, so why would you expect the same policies? Stop call the Mongols as “religiously tolerant,” it’s misleading, at best.

Original Summary

This paper examines the new religious institutions that the Mongol established around their conquest of the Southern Song dynasty, especially focusing on comparing and contrasting the religious offices and institutions related to the Daoists, Buddhist, Christians and Manichaeans. Although known for their open attitude to the various religions that the Mongol encountered in their conquest, this study highlights that the policies of the Mongols to different religions were not identical and nor did it need to be so. Right after the conquest of Southern Song, the Mongols rewarded the more cooperative and collaborating Orthodox Unity (Zhengyi 正一) Daoists and enabled them to continue their control over the Daoist of the South. In contrast, as the Buddhists of Southern China had no pre-existing institutional religious organization nor any leading collaborative figures, the Mongols delegated control over Buddhism in Southern China to three non-Han Buddhists, and eventually to a Tangut Monk Yang Lianzhenjia 楊璉眞加. Also, as seen in the establishment of the Office for Christian Clergy (Chongfusi 崇福司) in the central government in 1289, the role of the Manichaeans who willingly presented themselves as Christians in the late thirteenth century also played a significant role in the determining what a religion was in the eyes of the ruling Mongols. To the Mongols, the accountability was more important than the difference between the Christians and Manichaeans, and the blending of the two religions are evident in the anecdotes of Marco Polo, tombstone of the bishop in Quanzhou, and the examples found from the Institutions of the Yuan (Yuandianzhang 元典章). In sum, the comparison of the religious policies of the Mongols show that the relation between the Mongols and the religions determined the different policies.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s