Robert Hymes

in Way and Byway

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 2002 | ISBN: 9780520207585
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520935136 | DOI:

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Nested hierarchy itself is an idea that people are most likely to entertain and express when using a bureaucratic model. The bureaucratic and personal models do have something of the ideal type about them. These are Chinese ideal types. The Chinese imagined and constructed religious arenas in which the bureaucratic and the personal were more clearly separate than they were on earth. Relations between laity and clergy depend not on the glacial shifts and collisions of bureaucracies in response or resistance to popular sympathies, but on private commerce. China may present a revealing test case of how an organized and literate professional clergy functions when it does not have the effective backing of either a state or—what the Chinese state was strong enough to prevent—a powerful, centralized, state-like church.

Keywords: bureaucratic model; personal model; Nested hierarchy itself; Chinese; China; laity; professional clergy

Chapter.  4653 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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