Buddhism and Confucianism in the Tangut State

  • Kirill Solonin
Keywords: Tangut writing system, Buddhism, Chinese learning, Tangut state, Confucianism, Tangut rituals


From a generic perspective, the Tangut ideological system can be represented as the conflation of three major factors: in the course of their history, the Tanguts were open to ideological inflows originating mainly on the Central Plains (1, Buddhism and Confucianism) and the Tibetan Plateau (2, Buddhism). These two inflows encountered the Tangut indigenous ideology (3), which had obviously emerged before the proclamation of the Tangut State, and is scarcely known. These elements developed into a unique amalgamation provisionally identified as ‘Tangut ideology,’ or the ‘Tangut tradition.’ This ‘tradition’ cannot be reconstructed in its entirety: our sources are limited to the surviving textual materials in the Tangut language and scattered evidence in a variety of Chinese sources, and, to an even lesser extent, in the Tibetan chronicles. This paper seeks to deal with just one aspect of the multifaceted Tangut ideological system: the relation between Buddhism and Confucianism in the Tangut State. The main conclusion is that despite the fact that the role of Confucianism is not clearly evident in existing sources, the ultimate importance of Confucian influence is the formation of the Tangut *wen* 文.

How to Cite
Solonin, K. (2019). Buddhism and Confucianism in the Tangut State. Entangled Religions, 8. https://doi.org/10.13154/er.8.2019.8472