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The Religion of China

3.13  ·  Rating Details  ·  23 Ratings  ·  3 Reviews
Paperback, 308 pages
Published May 1st 1968 by Free Press (first published 1951)
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Let me just say that this is one of the most extreme cases of a book which somehow does nearly everything wrong and somehow comes up with some correct conclusions. Where could I start? Weber doesn't speak any Chinese himself, the sources he uses are limited and often incorrect. He cites incidents from completely different time frames and often ignores the sequences in which events happened.

Yet by some miracle, Weber manages to hit on several important points on the imperial Chinese government i
Jan 28, 2011 Alex rated it it was amazing
Both silly and important. Wrong about the extent of commerce and industry in 2nd millennium China, wrong about the homogeneity and pervasiveness of the a) literati ideal, or b) the "traditionality" of kinship systems. But right to think about religion as part of a larger political and socioeconomic system, right to imagine certain forms of religiosity inhering to certain class or status groups, and also right to see the ideals of the literate people as important or effectual in the civilizationa ...more
Patty Chang
Apr 16, 2013 Patty Chang rated it it was ok
Becoming less enamored of Weber as I get older. His speculation on China seems to largely be based on some ethnographic accounts of some German traveler. Having recently read a bunch of stuff on China and being aware of the really poor and biased scholarship of the time I didn't think this was a very good book based on both fact and reasoning. But I guess if you are reasoning from bad facts that will happen. And really, did they have to translate family as "sib"?
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(Arabic: ماكس فيبر)

Maximilian Carl Emil Weber was a German lawyer, politician, historian, sociologist and political economist, who profoundly influenced social theory and the remit of sociology itself. His major works dealt with the rationalization, bureaucratization and 'disenchantment' associated with the rise of capitalism. Weber was, along with his associate Georg Simmel, a central figure in t
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