The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism

 

protestant ethic thesis

PROTESTANT ETHIC THESIS: Formulated by Max Weber in a series of essays first published in , hence also known as “the Weber thesis,” the PE argument, although in Gordon Marshall’s words “unambiguous and breathtakingly simple” (), has been one of the most important and controversial topics in the sociology of religion. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism: Criticisms of Weber's Thesis by Sandra Pierotti Max Weber's theory of the part which Protestantism, specifically Calvinism, played in the development of a spirit of capitalism in western Europe has had a profound effect on the thinking of sociologists and historians since its publication in Protestant ethic, in sociological theory, the value attached to hard work, thrift, and efficiency in one’s worldly calling, which, especially in the Calvinist view, were deemed signs of an individual’s election, or eternal salvation. German sociologist Max Weber, in The Protestant Ethic and the.


The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism - Wikipedia


Weber argues that Protestantism was part of the casual chain that led to the development of world-system dominance by Anglo-American capitalism. Specifically, they were to invest all their income beyond the necessities of a frugal lifestyle, in so doing making even more money, to invest similarly all the days of their life.

Origins The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism in its present, generally used English translation by Talcott Parsons Weberbut see Collins is a revision by Weber of two essays he first published in To these are prefixed the introduction written c. There is also a third Protestant ethic essay, related to his observations on the Protestant ethic in America, that appeared in and is translated separately in both its revised version and the original In spite of occasional claims to the contrary, the work is accurately titled.

It is an enthymematic argument about a religious ay of acting and an economic world-view, protestant ethic thesis. Extensions and Critiques The PE thesis has generated several kinds of extensions see the literature reviews in FischoffKivisto and SwatosLittleNelson The theoretical strategy of this approach is to find in the PE a constellation of action orientations that enhance the disposition toward capitalism; although it can overextend itself, the value of this type of study is to reinforce the crucial Weberian principle that the PE is not a specific theological doctrine but a generalizable system of action protestant ethic thesis can occur without any theological referent at all as Weber himself pointed out in the somewhat apocalyptic conclusion to the revision of the essay.

Other critiques, which began with that of Rachfahl to which Weber himself replied, have been more misguided, hence far less helpful. This is why Weber can lump together such theologically diverse groups as Presbyterianism of the Westminster Confession, protestant ethic thesis, the Independents, Baptist sects, some Continental pietists, Mennonites, Quakers, and Methodists under the single rubric of the PE see Early forms of this critique were those of Werner Sombartwho associated capitalism with the Jews, to whom Weber himself replied, protestant ethic thesis, and H.

Robertsonwho attempted to identify capitalism with the Jesuits refuted by Broderick A reader lacking historical sophistication in either religion or economics can, however, be greatly misled by the Samuelsson text. In El Protestantismoprotestant ethic thesis, Balmes, who died inmakes precisely the case that Weber does, that Protestantism is the principal engine of modern rational capitalism and all protestant ethic thesis entails, not least its peculiar work discipline.

Another line of extension and critique that has proved relatively valueless has been to study contemporary Protestants and Catholics and others for evidence of the presence or absence of the PE, usually using some form protestant ethic thesis survey research procedure. Weber himself indicates that this is not at all the context in which the thesis is to be applied seeand that in fact the PE has been transvalued into a secular work ethic quite apart from, and perhaps even antithetical to, any religious considerations.

A final, more difficult set of issues surrounds the phenomenon of Puritanism itself. David Zaret e. In other words, the PE comes to symbolize a collection of action orientations that only occasionally, if ever, coalesce in concrete cases.

The groups Weber identifies with the PE did not. This is connected, in turn, to the larger question of work discipline. The treatment of Sunday as festival or Sabbath similarly separates the groups, as does the role of the sermon in worship. Bellah, Tokugawa Religion Glencoe, Ill. George and K. Swatos, protestant ethic thesis, Jr.

New York: Greenwood, :. Kivisto protestant ethic thesis W. Glock and P, protestant ethic thesis. Hammond New York: Harper, : Gurvitch and W. Moore New York: Philosophical Library, : .

 

The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism: Criticisms of Weber's Thesis

 

protestant ethic thesis

 

The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism: Criticisms of Weber's Thesis by Sandra Pierotti Max Weber's theory of the part which Protestantism, specifically Calvinism, played in the development of a spirit of capitalism in western Europe has had a profound effect on the thinking of sociologists and historians since its publication in Summary Max Weber's The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism is a study of the relationship between the ethics of ascetic Protestantism and the emergence of the spirit of modern capitalism. Weber argues that the religious ideas of groups such as the Calvinists . The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism is a book written by sociologist and economist Max Weber in The original version was in German and it was translated into English by Talcott Parsons in In the book, Weber argues that Western capitalism developed as a result of the Protestant work ethic.