Document Type

Journal Article

Department/Unit

Department of Sociology

Title

Weber’s Daoism: A failure of orthodoxy

Language

English

Abstract

© The Author(s) 2013. The paper fills a gap in the discussion of The Religion of China by focusing on Weber’s treatment of Daoism. First, it presents an examination of Weber’s use of sources in his construction of Daoism and his location of mysticism and religion in the early Daoist text Daodejing. Second, his treatment of Daoism – and Confucianism – within the orthodox/heterodox framework is examined and shown to be a European projection inadequate for understanding Chinese state practices. Finally, it is shown that Weber’s approach prevents appreciation of the contribution of Daoist thought to a Chinese entrepreneurial spirit. By reformulating Weber’s argument concerning culture and economy, this important and neglected aspect of Daoism is highlighted.

Keywords

Daoism, entrepreneurship, Laozi, orthodoxy, orthopraxy

Publication Date

2014

Source Publication Title

Journal of Classical Sociology

Volume

14

Issue

3

Start Page

284

End Page

301

Publisher

SAGE Publications

DOI

10.1177/1468795X13494132

Link to Publisher's Edition

http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1468795X13494132

ISSN (print)

1468795X

ISSN (electronic)

17412897

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