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Abstract

Buddhism has commonly been credited as the sole foreign religion to truly gain access to the hearts and minds of the Chinese people. Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam were likewise spread along the Silk Roads to China, yet these religions did not take root. What culminating factors played a role in the acceptance of Buddhism into Chinese culture? Is it possible that Buddhism should not be regarded as a foreign religion, but as a seed of thought that was nurtured by the missionary monks and the Chinese into a form almost unrecognizable from it's initial origins? Through a survey of primary sources and existing research on this interesting topic, I seek to pose a brief explanation on the forces that led to the success of Buddhism in China during it's original insemination. This article should not be regarded as an answer to the problem, but as an introduction and rough sketch of some of the fundamental links that exist in the puzzle of Buddhism and China's complex relationship.