The Religion of China: Confucianism and Taoism by Max Weber


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MacMillan, 1964. First edition. Softcover. Light wear to edges, spine sunned. Near-fine.

'First published in German under the title Konfuzianismus und Taoismus in 1915. An English translation was published in 1951.

It was Weber's second major work on the sociology of religion, after The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. He focused on those aspects of Chinese society that were different from those of Europe and Puritanism, and posed a question why capitalism did not develop in China. From the chronological perspective, he concentrated on early period of Chinese history (Hundred Schools of Thought, Warring States period); during which major Chinese schools of thoughts Confucianism, Taoism were invented. In that period, the writings focus on the issues of Chinese urban development, Chinese patrimonialism and officialdom, and Chinese religion, as the areas in which Chinese development differed most distinctively from the European route.'

 The sociologist of Chinese religion C.K. Yang, wrote that Weber's interpretation is "largely the result of viewing the religious situation in Chinese culture from the view of the Christian world, where religion has a formal organizational system and has occupied a prominent structural position in the organizational scheme of Western society."