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Reading response papers - Essay Example

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On the other hand, however, we have no intention whatever of maintaining such a foolish and doctrinaire thesis as that the spirit of capitalism (in the provisional sense of the term explained above) could only have arisen as the result of certain effects of the Reformation, or…
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Reading response papers

Download file to see previous pages... e only wish to ascertain whether and to what extent religious forces have taken part in qualitative formation and the quantitative expansion of that spirit over the world. Furthermore, what concrete aspects of our capitalistic culture can be traced to them, In view of the tremendous confusion of interdependent influences between the material basis, the forms of social and political organization, and the ideas current in the time of the Reformation, we can only proceed by investigating whether and at what points certain correlations between forms of religious belief and practical ethics can be worked out. At the same time we shall as far as possible clarify the manner and the general direction in which, by virtue of those relationships, the religious movements have influenced the development of material culture. Only when this has been determined with reasonable accuracy can the attempt be made to estimate to what extent the historical development of modern culture can be attributed to those religious forces and to what extent to others.
In “The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism,” Max Weber examines the part played by Protestantism in the evolution of Capitalism. After reading his arguments, it is evident that there are definitely “certain correlations between forms of religious belief and practical ethics.” It is Protestantism, as opposed to Catholicism, which gives religious sanction to one’s calling, or occupation in life, and asserts that worldly activity is worthy in the eyes of God. Weber makes this point particularly clear in his discussion of the Calvinist Baxter’s works in Chapter V. Baxter holds that the activity of daily work is the best way to glorify the Lord. Idleness is condemned, while physical and mental activity is associated with divine grace. Baxter’s stand on specialization in a particular occupation, or division of labor, as a means of improving the quality and quantity of products, is definitely a precursor of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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