Realino Marra

Universal Religions and Rational Capitalism in Max Weber

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Weber, Sociology of Religion, Calvinism, Capitalism, Enlightenment.

In this essay the author discusses the two paradoxical accounts advanced by Weber in his sociology of religion, particularly in Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. The first account states that a particular religious experience as that of Calvinist ascetic Protestantism contributes to generate the modern disposition to rational acquisitive activity that is indifferent to ethic motivations and is substantially irreligious. Furthermore, the individualism and the freedom derived from Puritan sects, according to Weber, eventually result into their contrary: great economic powers and rigid bureaucratic structures that force the individual into a condition of slavery which is even more oppressive than the past.

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