Max Weber’s understanding of religion and society
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Objectives RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
MAXimilian carl emil WEBER
Weber’s views on world religions
The protestant ethic
Calvin’s image of god
Doctrine of predestination
Calvin and this worldly asceticism
The notion of calling
The spirit of capitalism
How the protestant ethic influenced the spirit of
Weber’s theory in modern day society
The objective of this project is to study Weber’s views on religion and society. The main focus of this project lies on his most celebrated work, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. The main objective of this project is to throw light on what Weber thought influenced the development of capitalism in the West and to study it’s relevance in modern day India.
This research is descriptive and analytical in nature. Secondary and Electronic resources have been largely used to gather information and data about the topic. Books and other reference as guided by Faculty of Sociology have been primarily helpful in giving this project a firm structure. Websites, dictionaries and articles have also been referred. Footnotes have been provided wherever needed, to acknowledge the source.
Max Weber, one of the most well known and highly respected sociologists was an individual of wide learning. His interests ranged among subjects covering a wide area and his writings covered the field of economics, law, philosophy, comparative history as well as sociology. This may have been one of the most critical reasons for Weber having put forth his theory of religion in which he talks about the influence of Protestantism on the rise of the Capitalistic society. Weber’s celebrated and most discussed work, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism proposes that religious values – especially those associated with Puritanism – were of fundamental importance in creating a political outlook. He studied the religions of China, India and the Near East, and in the course of these researches made major contributions to the sociology of religion. Comparing the leading religious systems in China and India with those of the West, Weber concluded that certain aspects of Christian beliefs strongly influenced the rise of capitalism. He argued that the capitalist outlook of the Western societies did not emerge only from economic changes. In Weber’s view, cultural ideas and values help shape society and our individual actions. Weber believed that if in traditional societies, religion and long-standing customs largely defined people’s attitudes and values, modern society was marked by the rationalization of more and more areas of life, from politics, to religion, to economic activity.
MAXimilian carl emil WEBER
Maximilian Carl Emil Weber was born on 21 April, 1864 in Erfurt in Thuringia, Germany. He was greatly influenced by his father Max Weber Sr., a wealthy and prominent politician in the National Liberal Party (Germany) and a civil servant. His mother, Helene Fallenstein was a Protestant and a Calvinist, with strong moral absolutist ideas. In 1882 Weber enrolled in the University of Heidelberg as a law student and chose as his major study the field of law. Along with his law coursework, Weber attended lectures in economics and studied medieval history and theology. Intermittently, he served with the German army in Strasbourg. In 1886 Weber passed the examination for "Referendar". Throughout the late 1880s, Weber continued his study of history. He earned...
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