Patriarchal-feudalism was culturally significant in that it compelled religions to get involved in the world, stress secular values and practice ethical cultivation. But it also made religions the guardian of feudalism, and in that sense, it was not all positive. In Tibet, there was for a long time a brutal theocratic system that combined Tibetan Buddhism with a feudal serfdom. In Northwest China, there was once a hereditary Menhuan system that combined the Islamic faith with the landlord system, resulting in the emergence of a number of “imams” who held absolute power over the life and property of the believers.


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