Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Wenzhou Entrepreneurs in Milan and in Their Homeland (新教伦理与企业家精神∶意大利米兰的温州商人)

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Review of Religion and Chinese Society

Despite challenges from the government because of its large Protestant population, Wenzhou has come to be known as “the Jerusalem of China.” Many of the city’s entrepreneurial “boss Christians” (laoban jidutu 老板基督徒) have exported their successful businesses overseas. The empirical findings presented in this paper are part of an in-depth, comparative, qualitative study of Chinese entrepreneurs working in Milan, Italy. Treating the house churches as a sect and examining the nature of the “calling” (yi xiang 异象) described by boss Christians provides an opportunity to reconsider Max Weber’s discussion of the so-called Protestant ethic and the concept of Beruf (calling). The interviews were conducted among Protestant and non-Christian business owners active in Milan’s Chinatown and other areas in Italy, and also during fieldwork in their homeland in China. The study points out the connection between their business ethic and Protestantism.温州因其庞大的基督徒群体而享誉为“中国的耶路撒冷。”当地许多“老板基督徒”成功地将商业活动开展至海外。本文是一项针对意大利米兰的温州企业家展开的深入比较质性研究。文中有关“异象”和家庭教会的分析,涉及到马克斯·韦伯的理论观点。研究方法结合了访谈和观察。作者访问了意大利米兰和其他地区中国城的基督徒和非基督徒企业家,并前往他们家乡做田野观察。本研究认为,他们的商业伦理与新教存在着联系。 (This article is in English.)

Affiliations: 1: Universita degli Studi di Milano,


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

1. Barker J. E. 2005. The Christian Roots of Capitalism . San Francisco: Chronicle.
2. Bays D. H. 2003. “"Chinese Protestant Christianity Today".” The China Quarterly Vol 174: 488504.
3. Burawoy M., ed. 1991. Ethnography Unbound: Power and Resistance in the Modern Metropolis . Berkeley: University of California Press.
4. Cao N. 2005. “"The Church as a Surrogate Family for Working Class Immigrant Chinese Youth: An Ethnography of Segmented Assimilation".” Sociology of Religion Vol 66: 183200.
5. Cao N. 2007. “"Christian Entrepreneurs and the Post-Mao State: An Ethnographic Account of Church-State Relations in China’s Economic Transition".” Sociology of Religion Vol 68 (1): 4566.
6. Cao N. 2008. “"Boss Christians: The Business of Religion in the ‘Wenzhou Model’ of Christian Revival".” The China Journal Vol 59: 6387.
7. Delacroix J.,, and Nielsen F.. 2001. “"The Beloved Myth: Protestantism and the Rise of Industrial Capitalism in Nineteenth-Century Europe".” Social Forces Vol 80: 509553.
8. Elvin M. 1984. “"Why China Failed to Create an Endogenous Industrial Capitalism: A Critique of Max Weber’s Explanation".” Theory and Society Vol 13 (3): 379391.
9. Feldmann H. 2007. “"Protestantism, Labor Force Participation, and Employment across Countries".” American Journal of Economics and Sociology Vol 66 (4): 795816.
10. Fried H. M. 1987. “"Reflections on Christianity in China".” American Ethnologist Vol 14 (1): 94106.
11. Granovetter M. S. 1973. “"The Strength of Weak Ties".” American Journal of Sociology Vol 78: 13611381.
12. Groethuysen B. [1927] 1964. Le origini dello spirito borghese in Francia . Milano: Il Saggiatore. Milano. Translation of Die Entstehung der bürgerlichen Welt- und Lebensanschauung in Frankreich .
13. Hefner R. W. 2010. “"Religious Resurgence in Contemporary Asia: South-east Asian Perspectives on Capitalism, the State, and the New Piety".” Journal of Asian Studies Vol 69 (4): 10311047.
14. Hou Jack W. “"Economic Reform of China: Cause and Effects".” Social Science Journal Vol 48 (2011): 419434.
15. Huang L. J. 1971. “"The Role of Religion in Communist Chinese Society".” Asian Survey Vol 11 (7): 693708.
16. Kahn Joseph. 1995. “"China’s Christians Mix Business and God: Wenzhou Church Thrives on New Capitalists Wealth".” Wall Street Journal , June 16.
17. Lambert Tony. 1999. China’s Christian Millions . London: Monarch Books.
18. Li Z. 2014. “"China Denies Church Demolition Is Persecution of Christians".” cnn International, May 2. .
19. Manser M., ed. 1999. Concise Chinese-English, English-Chinese Dictionary . Oxford: Oxford University Press.
20. Masland J. W. 1952. “"Communism and Christianity in China".” Journal of Religion Vol 32 (3): 198206.
21. McCleary R. M.,, and Barro J. R.. 2003. “"Religion and Economic Growth across Countries".” American Sociological Review Vol 68 (5): 760781.
22. McCleary R. M.,, and Barro J. R.. 2006. “"Religion and Economy".” Journal of Economic Perspectives Vol 20 (2): 4972.
23. McKinnon A. M. 2010. “"Elective Affinities of the Protestant Ethic: Weber and the Chemistry of Capitalism".” Sociological Theory Vol 28 (1): 108126.
24. Molloy S. 1980. “"Max Weber and the Religions of China: Any Way out of the Maze?”" British Journal of Sociology Vol 31 (3): 377400.
25. Naso P. 2014. Fratelli e Sorelle di Jerry Masslo. L’immigrazione Evangelica in Italia . Torino: Claudiana.
26. Robertson L. 2009. “"Could China’s Underground Churches Soon Meet Openly?"”Christian Broadcasting Network , January 27. .
27. Roper T. H. R. 1968. The Crisis of the Seventeenth Century . New York: Harper and Row.
28. Tawney R. H. [1922] 1967. La religione e l’origine del capitalismo . Milan: Feltrinelli.
29. Tong K. J. 2013. Overseas Chinese Christian Entrepreneurs in Modern China: A Case Study of the Influence of Christian Ethics on Business Life . London: Anthem Press.
30. Weber M. [1905] 1930. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism . London: Unwin Hyman. Translation of Die protestantische Ethik und der Geist des Kapitalismus .
31. Weber M. [1906] 1991. The Protestant Sects and the Spirit of Capitalism . London: Routledge. Translation of Die protestantischen Sekten und der Geist des Kapitalismus .
32. Wenger J. E. 2004. “"Official vs. Underground Protestant churches in China: Challenges for Reconciliation and Social Influence".” Review of Religious Research Vol 46 (2): 169182.
33. Yang F. 2005. “"Lost in the Market, Saved at McDonald’s: Conversion to Christianity in Urban China".” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion Vol 44 (4): 423441.
34. Yang F. 2006. “"The Red, Black, and Gray Markets of Religion in China".” Sociological Quarterly Vol 47 (1): 93122.

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Review of Religion and Chinese Society — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation