Sociology Index


Protestant ethic was cited by Max Weber as an important influence in encouraging the development of capitalism and capitalist society. The Diet of Speyer in 1529 voted to end the toleration of those who followed the teachings of Martin Luther within Germany. Max Weber highlighted the importance Martin Luther’s idea of the calling and John Calvin’s doctrine of predestination in developing the Protestant work ethic that eventually transformed itself into the animating spirit of capitalism.

The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism has set the parameters for the debate over the origins of modern capitalism. Weber claimed that the Catholic church, in contrast to Protestant ethic, promoted ideas and attitudes that tended to obstruct economic development. For Protestants, the Protestant ethic was that obedience to God's will demanded energetic and enterprising work in one's occupation or ‘calling’. Profits under Protestant ethics were morally justified as the reward for this hard work and, so long as they were not casually squandered on luxuries.

Protestant Ethic, Max Weber argued was so strongly supportive of capitalist development that countries where Protestantism became dominant quickly moved ahead of Catholic countries in their level of economic development. Weber was in a sort of posthumous battle of ideas with Karl Marx. Recall that Marx argued that ideas stemmed from our material relations and, in particular, the ruling class. Weber thought this conclusion was naïve and that ideas could indeed spur new forms of economic relations.

The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism that certain features of Western culture, in particular its religious underpinnings, created cultural conditions for the rise of modern capitalism. For Max Weber, the ethos or “spirit” of capitalism was a particular orientation toward economic life that incorporates a sense of duty or responsibility. The “spirit” urged social actors to work hard, remain frugal, and to make money for its own sake. Max Weber argued that the “spirit” was related to the spread of Protestantism in Western Europe.

Books on The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism: and Other Writings. by Max Weber, Peter Baehr, and Gordon C. Wells. In The Protestant Ethic, Max Weber opposes the Marxist concept of dialectical materialism and relates the rise of the capitalist economy to the Calvinist belief in the moral value of hard work and the fulfillment of one's worldly duties. This volume includes, along with Weber's treatise, an illuminating introduction, a wealth of explanatory notes, and exemplary responses and remarks-both from Weber and his critics-sparked by publication of The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism.

Protestant Ethic Debate: Weber's Replies to His Critics, 1907-1910 by David Chalcraft and Austin Harrington. 'We have waited far too long for an English edition of Weber's replies to his critics... Had these replies been published with the original 1930 translation of the PESC the whole Protestant Ethic debate would never have gone down so many blind alleys... Readers will also find one of the most succinct statements of Weber's objectives in writing the PESC as well as a clarification of his research methods.' Dr Sam Whimster, Reader in Sociology at London Guildhall University.

Doing Right And Being Good: Catholic And Protestant Readings In Christian Ethics (Michael Glazier Books) by David Oki Ahearn and Peter R. Gathje.

The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Punishment by T. Richard Snyder. Snyder finds clues for a different understanding of humanity and God in responses to crime categorized as restorative justice. They also recognize all persons as graced, no matter what their actions may have been. Drawing on these clues, Snyder initiates fresh ways of thinking about the traditional theological concepts of covenant, incarnation, and trinity as foundations for a restorative approach to justice. He also challenges religious communities to understand God's good news in ways that offer hope for a transformed world. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Punishment is an eye-opening work with profound implications for contemporary social life.

Protestant Ethic Books

Weber, Passion and Profits: 'The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism' in Context by Jack Barbalet.

The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Authoritarianism: Puritanism, Democracy, and Society by Milan Zafirovski.

Weber's Protestant Ethic: Origins, Evidence, Contexts by Hartmut Lehmann and Guenther Roth.

American Protestant Ethics and the Legacy of H. Richard Niebuhr. by William Werpehowski.

Outlines & Highlights for The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism by Max, by Cram101 Textbook Reviews.

The Protestant Ethic Turns 100: Essays on the Centenary of the Weber Thesis. by William H. Swatos Jr. and Lutz Kaelber.

Christian Ethics in the Protestant Tradition by Waldo Beach.

The Integrated Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Environmentalism by Sherrie Steiner-Aeschliman.

New Dictionary of Christian Ethics, Pastoral Theology by David John Atkinson, David Field, Arthur F. Holmes, and Oliver O'Donovan.

The Influence of the Protestant Ethic on Sport and Recreation by Steven J. Overman.

Not the Protestant Ethic? Max Weber at St. Louis [An article from: History of European Ideas] by P. Ghosh.

The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism by Max Weber, Talcott Parsons, and R.H. Tawney.

American Protestant Ethics and the Legacy of H. Richard Niebuhr. An article from: Theological Studies by Gerald P. Mckenny.

Protestant and Roman Catholic Ethics: Prospects for Rapprochement by James M. Gustafson.