A mingled throng : temple, monk and local society of Eastern Zhejiang 1368-1644


Research output: Other Conference ContributionsPresentation


In “the Religion of China:Confucianism and Taoism”, Max Weber pointed out that the Protestant ethic contributed to the development of capitalism, while China's Confucian hampered China's development. Refer to the influence of military system, water conservancy project, bureaucratic gentry, currency and clan community which are related to economic development, Weber put forward "Why hasn’t China have the same bourgeois revolution as the West?" Why didn't china
produce capitalism? "etc. Weber believes that Chinese Confucianism and Taoism are as ethical as Buddhism, and did not produce laws like the west, and points out that the spiritual core of Confucianism and Taoism does not support its emergence of capitalism.

In my paper, contrary to Weber's point of view, I believe that Buddhism of China has economic and social functions, it cooperate with Confucianism and Taoism, formed a mixed philosophy theory which promoted social and economic development. This study is about spatio-temporal analyses of religious establishments in Ming dynasty of China.I will choose several countries of eastern zhejiang province as samples. By means of comparative analysis, quantitative analysis qualitative analysis and geographical analysis, I will investigate the regular pattern of Buddhism development in eastern zhejiang province during 1368-1644 and its relationship with the change of social structure. Specifically speaking, for the comparative study, the objects for analysisare counties of wenzhou and taizhou. In terms of quantitative research, the statistical data include the number of temples, tax revenue, population and land. In the aspect of geographicalanalysis, the topography, rivers, transportation, urban and rural structures in eastern zhejiang are mainly investigated. In terms of qualitative research, this research mainly investigates the relationships among central administration, prefectures and counties, supervisory and military systems in the Ming dynasty, and at the same time exploring dynamic interaction of between construction of local Buddhist temple and the different systems, thus observing the relationship between the central and local government. At the same time, the study will also investigate the influence of social unrest, land system, and reform of taxation on temple construction, so as to analyze the changes of power in the temple field and the relationship among different communities and social structures. In general, this paper is trying to explore the deep relationship between China's religious and social and economic development comparing to the west world.The main materials used in this paper are ancient maps,inscription, gazzater, literati notes, genealogical records and field trip materials.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jun 2019
EventBritish Postgraduate Network for Chinese Studies 2019 Annual Conference : China’s Global Role in the New Era - Jesus College, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Duration: 8 Jun 20199 Jun 2019


ConferenceBritish Postgraduate Network for Chinese Studies 2019 Annual Conference : China’s Global Role in the New Era
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
OtherThe annual conference of the British Postgraduate Network for Chinese Studies will be held at Jesus College, University of Cambridge on the 8-9 June 2019. The conference is themed on ‘China’s Global Role in the New Era’, and they have invited Professor Peter Nolan (Director for the Centre of Development Studies, University of Cambridge) Professor Alan MacFarlane (Professor Emeritus of King’s College, University of Cambridge) and Dr. Bingchun Meng (Deputy Head of Department of Media and Communications, LSE) to give an 0pening dialogue.

They have 18 panels, 60 presenters during this two-day conference. The year’s topics are very diverse, ranging from drama, diplomacy and economy to ancient philosophy and local institutions. The presenters are from all over the world including Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, the UK, Italy, Czech Republic and many other countries.
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