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Asia in general and India in particular: Max Weber’s conclusions on the Role of the Literati in Hinduism and Buddhism

DOI https://doi.org/10.15543/MWS/2018/1/7

Helwig Schmidt-Glintzer


Weber’s argument about India as the spiritual pivot of Asian religiosity is critically considered as typical of the approach of European intellectuals at the beginning of the twentieth century. This can no longer be held to be valid in the light of present academic knowledge. That approach still influences western attitudes to how Asia and its religions are conceptualised. The relation of literati to the masses in China and India are compared as well as the role of the saviour figure in Asia and the Christian West.

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