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. Based on the original 1905 edition, 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. This is the first English translation of the 1905 German text and the first volume to include Weber's unexpurgated responses to his critics, which reveal important developments in and clarifications of Weber's argument.
How Calvinism and Capitalism Shaped America's Games
Author: Steven J. Overman
Pubpsher: Mercer University Press
Steven Overman explores the concordant values of the Protestant ethic, capitalism, and sport by applying German scholar Max Weber's seminal thesis. Weber demonstrated a relationship between the Protestant ethic and a form of economic behavior he labeled the "Spirit of capitalism." The work introduces readers to the doctrines and values experience, focusing on the framing of work and play in light of an intense unease with human pleasure and idleness. The United States is portrayed as the quintessential Protestant ethic society. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Sport proposes "seven Protestant virtues" built upon rational asceticism and the work ethic that comprise the Protestant ethic. The spirit of capitalism is presented as a derivative of this ethic and a major force in shaping American institutions, notable organized sport. The second part of the book discusses the spirit of American sport as it is manifested in values the author identifies as the American sport ethic: seven constructs that correspond to the seven Protestant "virtues." Each of these constructs, e.g., achieved status, competitiveness, is examined as it has influenced organized sport. The discussion encompasses youth sport, college sport, professional sport, and American influence on the modern Olympics. The book then analyzes sport as a form of consumer capitalism.
Any vision of capitalism's future prospects must take into account the powerful cultural influence Catholicism has exercised throughout the world. The Church had for generations been reluctant to come to terms with capitalism, but, as Michael Novak argues in this important book, a hundred-year-long debate within the Church has yielded a richer and more humane vision of capitalism than that described in Max Weber's classic The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Novak notes that the influential Catholic intellectuals who, early in this century saw through Weber's eyes an economic system marked by ruthless individualism and cold calculation had misread the reality. For, as history has shown, the lived experience of capitalism has depended to a far greater extent than they had realized on a culture characterized by opportunity, cooperative effort, social initiative, creativity, and invention. Drawing on the major works of modern Papal thought, Novak demonstrates how the Catholic tradition has come to reflect this richer interpretation of capitalist culture. In 1891, Pope Leo XIII condemned socialism as a futile system, but also severely criticized existing market systems. In 1991, John Paul II surprised many by conditionally proposing "a business economy, a market economy, or simply free economy" as a model for Eastern Europe and the Third World. Novak notes that as early as 1963, this future Pope had signaled his commitment to liberty. Later, as Archbishop of Krakow, he stressed the "creative subjectivity" of workers, made by God in His image as co-creators. Now, as Pope, he calls for economic institutions worthy of a creative people, and for political and cultural reformsattuned to a new "human ecology" of family and work. Novak offers an original and penetrating conception of social justice, rescuing it as a personal virtue necessary for social activism. Since Pius XI made this idea canonical in 1931, the term has been rejected by the Right as an oxymoron and misused by the Left as a party platform. Novak applies this newly formulated notion of social justice to the urgent worldwide problems of ethnicity, race, and poverty. His fresh rethinking of the Catholic ethic comes just in time to challenge citizens in those two large and historically Catholic regions, Eastern Europe and Latin America, now taking their first steps as market economies, as well as those of us in the West seeking a realistic moral vision.
This bold work confronts the spirit of punishment that permeates our culture and its deleterious effects on today's penal system and society at large. Rooted in experiences of prison reality, the book sets forth an original theory about the theological roots of our current punitive ethos and offers a creative antidote informed by a commitment to restorative justice. Snyder shows that the spirit of punishment in our culture is rooted in and reinforced by popular Christian misunderstandings of human nature and God's grace. These misunderstandings include two consequential errors: the absence of any notion of "creation grace" and an understanding of "redemption grace" couched exclusively in individualistic, internalized, and nonhistorical terms. In both cases the social-historical dimensions of grace necessary for holistic redemption are ignored. These theological distortions, coupled with a prevailing cultural context that divides people between "them" and "us"-the most virulent form of which is racism-make a spirit of punishment inevitable. Snyder finds clues for a different understanding of humanity and God in responses to crime categorized as "restorative justice." These alternative perspectives seek redemption not only for the perpetrator but also for the victims of crime and the larger community. 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.
Release on 1995-09-21 | by Hartmut Lehmann,Guenther Roth
Origins, Evidence, Contexts
Author: Hartmut Lehmann,Guenther Roth
Pubpsher: Cambridge University Press
Although Weber's path-breaking work on the Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism has received much attention ever since it first appeared in 1904-5, recent research has uncovered important new aspects. This volume, the result of an international, interdisciplinary effort, throws new light on the intellectual and cultural background of Weber's work, debates recent criticism of Weber's thesis, and confronts new historical insight on the seventeenth century with Weber's interpretation. Revisiting Weber's thesis serves to deepen our understanding of Weber as much as it will stimulate further research.
Max Weber and The Protestant Ethic: Twin Histories presents an entirely new portrait of Max Weber, one of the most prestigious social theorists in recent history, using his most famous work, The Protestant Ethic and the "Spirit" of Capitalism, as its central point of reference. It offers an intellectual biography of Weber framed along historical lines - something which has never been done before. It re-evaluates The Protestant Ethic - a text surprisingly neglected by scholars - supplying a missing intellectual and chronological centre to Weber's life and work. Peter Ghosh suggests that The Protestant Ethic is the link which unites the earlier (pre-1900) and later (post-1910) phases of his career. He offers a series of fresh perspectives on Weber's thought in various areas - charisma, capitalism, law, politics, rationality, bourgeois life, and (not least) Weber's unusual religious thinking, which was 'remote from god' yet based on close dialogue with Christian theology. This approach produces a convincing view of Max Weber as a whole; while previously the sheer breadth of his intellectual interests has caused him to be read in a fragmentary way according to a series of specialized viewpoints, this volume seeks to put him back together again as a real individual.