The Vocation Lectures

The Vocation Lectures

Originally published separately, Weber's 'Science as a Vocation' and 'Politics as a Vocation' stand as the classic formulations of his positions on two related subjects that go to the heart of his thought: the nature and status of science and its claims to authority; and the nature and status of political claims and the ultimate justification for such claims. Together in this volume, these newly translated lectures offer an ideal point of entry into Weber's central project: understanding how, as Weber put it, "in the West alone there have appeared cultural manifestations [that seem to] go in the direction of universal significance and validity."

Charisma and Disenchantment: The Vocation Lectures

Charisma and Disenchantment: The Vocation Lectures

A new translation of two celebrated lectures on politics, academia, and the disenchantment of the world. The German sociologist Max Weber is one of the most venturesome, stimulating, and influential theorists of the modern condition. Among his most significant works are the so-called vocation lectures, published shortly after the end of World War I and delivered at the invitation of a group of student activists. The question the students asked Weber to address was simple and haunting: In a modern world characterized by the division of labor, economic expansion, and unrelenting change, was it still possible to consider an academic or political career as a genuine calling? In response Weber offered his famous diagnosis of “the disenchantment of the world,” along with a challenging account of the place of morality in the classroom and in research. In his second lecture he introduced the notion of political charisma, assigning it a central role in the modern state, even as he recognized that politics is more than anything “a slow and difficult drilling of holes into hard boards.” Damion Searls’s new translation brings out the power and nuance of these celebrated lectures. Paul Reitter and Chad Wellmon’s introduction describes their historical and biographical background, reception, and influence. Weber’s effort to rethink the idea of a public calling at the start of the tumultuous twentieth century is revealed to be as timely and stirring as ever.

Politics as a Vocation

Politics as a Vocation

German sociologist Max Weber’s 1919 lecture Politics as a Vocation is widely regarded as a masterpiece of political theory and sociology. Its central strength lies in Weber’s deployment of masterful interpretative skills to power his discussion of modern politics. Interpretation involves understanding both the meaning of evidence and the meaning of terms – questioning definitions, clarifying terms and processes, and supplying good, clear definitions of the author’s own. As a sociologist accustomed to working with historical evidence, Weber based his own work on precisely these skills, solidly backed up by analytical acuity. Politics as a Vocation, written in a Germany shocked by its crippling defeat in World War I, saw Weber turn his eye to an examination of how the modern nation state emerged, and the different ways in which it can be run – interpreting and defining the different types of rule that are possible. It is testament to Weber’s interpretative skills that Politics is famous above all in sociological circles for its clear definition of a state as an institution that claims “the monopoly of legitimate physical violence” in a given territory.

Lamps, Pitchers and Trumpets

Lectures on the Vocation of the Preacher. Illustrated by Anecdotes, Biographical, Historical, and Elucidatory, of Every Order of Pulpit Eloquence, from the Great Preachers of All Ages

Lamps, Pitchers and Trumpets


The Vocation of Theology Today

A Festschrift for David Ford

The Vocation of Theology Today

What is the task of theology in a complex religious and secular world? What are theologians called to contribute to society, the churches, and the academy? Can theology be both fully faithful to Christian tradition and Scripture, and fully open to the challenges of the twenty-first century? In this book, an international team of contributors, including some of the best-known names in the field, respond to these questions in programmatic essays that set the direction for future debates about the vocation of theology. David Ford, in whose honor the collection is produced, has been for many years a key figure in articulating and shaping the role of contemporary theology. The contributors are his colleagues, collaborators, and former students, and their essays engage in dialogue with his work. The main unifying feature of this exciting collection is not Ford's work per se, however, but a shared engagement with the pressing question of theology's vocation today.

The Mark of the Sacred

The Mark of the Sacred

Jean-Pierre Dupuy, prophet of what he calls "enlightened doomsaying," has long warned that modern society is on a path to self-destruction. In this book, he pleads for a subversion of this crisis from within, arguing that it is our lopsided view of religion and reason that has set us on this course. In denial of our sacred origins and hubristically convinced of the powers of human reason, we cease to know our own limits: our disenchanted world leaves us defenseless against a headlong rush into the abyss of global warming, nuclear holocaust, and the other catastrophes that loom on our horizon. Reviving the religious anthropology of Max Weber, Emile Durkheim, and Marcel Mauss and in dialogue with the work of René Girard, Dupuy shows that we must remember the world's sacredness in order to keep human violence in check. A metaphysical and theological detective, he tracks the sacred in the very fields where human reason considers itself most free from everything it judges irrational: science, technology, economics, political and strategic thought. In making such claims, The Mark of the Sacred takes on religion bashers, secularists, and fundamentalists at once. Written by one of the deepest and most versatile thinkers of our time, it militates for a world where reason is no longer an enemy of faith.

Lectures on Ethics, 1900 - 1901

John Dewey

Lectures on Ethics, 1900 - 1901

In Lectures on Ethics, 1900–1901,Donald F. Koch supplies the only extant complete transcription of the annual three-course sequence on ethics John Dewey gave at the University of Chicago. In his introduction Koch argues that these lectures offer the best systematic, overall introduction to Dewey’s approach to moral philosophy and are the only account showing the unity of his views in nearly all phases of ethical inquiry. These lectures are the only work by Dewey to set forth a complete theory of moral language. They offer a clear illustration of the central methodological questions in the development of a pragmatic instrumentalist ethic and the actual working out of the instrumentalist approach as distinct from simply presenting it as a conclusion.

Govern Like Us

U.S. Expectations of Poor Countries

Govern Like Us

In the poorest countries, such as Afghanistan, Haiti, and Mali, the United States has struggled to work with governments whose corruption and lack of capacity are increasingly seen to be the cause of instability and poverty. The development and security communities call for "good governance" to improve the rule of law, democratic accountability, and the delivery of public goods and services. The United States and other rich liberal democracies insist that this is the only legitimate model of governance. Yet poor governments cannot afford to govern according to these ideals and instead are compelled to rely more heavily on older, cheaper strategies of holding power, such as patronage and repression. The unwillingness to admit that poor governments do and must govern differently has cost the United States and others inestimable blood and coin. Informed by years of fieldwork and drawing on practitioner work and academic scholarship in politics, economics, law, and history, this book explains the origins of poor governments in the formation of the modern state system and describes the way they govern. It argues that, surprisingly, the effort to stigmatize and criminalize the governance of the poor is both fruitless and destabilizing. The United States must pursue a more effective foreign policy to engage poor governments and acknowledge how they govern.

The Vocation of a Teacher

Rhetorical Occasions, 1967-1988

The Vocation of a Teacher

Essays discuss teaching, the importance of liberal arts, educational funding, and graduate English study