Weber's Protestant Ethic, A Short Outline

MAX WEBER The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1904-5)1

  1. Introduction
    1. Western rationalism as topic
    2. Capitalism as most important force in modern life
    3. Characteristics of modern Western capitalism
    4. Rationalism of Western culture extends to many fields
    5. In this book, we will treat ONLY ONE SIDE OF THE CAUSAL CHAIN, the connection of the spirit of modern economic life with the rational ethics of ascetic Protestantism.
  2. Religious Affiliation and Social Stratification
    1. Catholic/Protestant Differences
    2. The Reformation and church control over EDL
    3. Protestantism
  3. The Spirit of Capitalism
    1. What is the spirit of capitalism?
      1. Ideal Type
      2. Ben Franklin as an example
    2. The interesting question is WHERE DID THIS SITUATION COME FROM?
    3. What is the origin of the irrational element which lies at the basis of this particular concrete form of rational thought: the conception of a calling.
  4. Luther’s Conception of The Calling
    1. The idea of a calling — a life-task, a definite field in which to work — is peculiar to Protestants.
      1. Protestantism had a further new development, which was the valuation of the fulfillment of duty in worldly affairs as the highest form which the moral activity of an individual could assume and this is in CONTRAST to trying to surpass worldly morality by monastic asceticism.
  5. The Religious Foundations of Worldly Asceticism
    1. Idea of the calling was not enough.  ascetic Protestantism: Calvinism, Pietism, Methodism and the Baptist sects.
  6. Asceticism and The Spirit of Capitalism
    1. Morality of activity
    2. The division of labor
    3. The ascetic outlook
    4. Turns into a general cultural outlook
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