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The Economics Of Religion In Warring States And Early Imperial China

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses the economics of religion in warring states and early imperial China. The scenario described in the chapter and variants of it across early Chinese texts unveil a world in which religious obligation and economic duty are deeply intertwined, a society where goods used in the service of the spirits are levied together with taxes to support the mundane organisation of everyday life. It is a world where economics and religious obligation meet and do so, ideally, for the public good. The latter is achievable when a balance is maintained between ritual expenditure and economic welfare.

Keywords: early imperial China; economics; religion; sacrifice; Warring States



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