Date of Award

Summer 8-6-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

MA Asian Studies


Language/Literature /Culture


Jeffrey Rice, Ph.D

Committee Member

Lawrence Frizzell, D. Phil

Committee Member

Yan Wang, Ph.D


Sin, Buddhism, Catholicism, Chih-i, Pope Gregory I, Contemplation


Buddhism and Christianity are two of the major religions in the world. This paper is going to compare sin in Medieval Tiantai Buddhism with Medieval Catholicism, with examples of Chih-i (Zhiyi) and Gregory’s teaching on sin. This article investigates sin from the aspects of pride, greed and sources of sin, cardinal sins, and practice of contemplation in the two religions. The two religions share common ground in the question of sin, yet there are differences in the source of sins and the definition of cardinal sins. In addition, the teachings of Chih-i and Gregory the Great on the practice of contemplation revealed that contemplation played dissimilar roles in two religions. Finally, it concludes that there are resemblances in two religions that connect East Asia and the West, which calls for future cooperation that brings a message of salvation to all human beings.