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Hualin International Journal of Buddhist Studies 2.2 (2019): 250–272;
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Buddhism and Business: South and East Asian Perspectives)

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The Buddhist Economies of Modern Urban China

Francesca TAROCCO
Ca’ Foscari University of Venice/New York University Shanghai

Abstract: This paper looks at the dynamic relationship between Buddhism, business, and merit in urban China, and particularly in the cities of the Lower Yangzi Delta (or Jiangnan), with a focus on Shanghai in late imperial and modern times. It argues that Shanghai residents have continued to practice Buddhism notwithstanding the widespread iconoclasm enforced by the ruling elites and the recurrent calls to end all wasteful practices associated with Chinese religion.

Keywords: Buddhism, Shanghai, merit, consumption


About the Author: Francesca Tarocco is Associate Professor of Chinese Religious History and Buddhist Studies at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and Visiting Professor of Buddhist Cultures at New York University Shanghai. She recently guest-edited the special issue of the Journal of Global Buddhism on Buddhists and the Making of Modern Chinese Societies and is currently an associate editor of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Buddhism.


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.