“The Protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism” by German sociologist Max Weber is one of the controversial book in the history of social science which encompassed the concepts of religion, capitalism and the society. This book influenced areas of Social science, Theology, Economics, Business management, Anthropology etc. Weber has made interconnection between the religious ideals and Capitalism.  

This book “The Protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism”, published in “the Archiv für Sozialwissenschaft und Sozialpolitik” (The Archives for Social Sciences and Socio-politics) which Max Weber was the publisher in 1904-5 as two-part article. Allen and Unwin published the English version of the book in 1930. Lots of debates and discussions generated based on the observations. For the reason that of the massive arguments and discussions, Weber tried to revise his work based on sociology and religion and published the work known as “Gesammelte Aufsätze zur Religionssoziologie (Collected Essays on the Sociology of Religion). This book was published in 1920 in which the same year Weber passed away.

In the chapter “Religious Affiliation and Social Stratification”, Weber claims that occupational statistics have interconnection to the religious ideals and ethics. At some specific occasions religious ideals can be evolved from the existing conditions of a society. He also states that the dictatorship of Catholicism forced people of highly economic countries to give their wealth to Protestantism and substituted the control of Catholic churches to Protestants.

Catholics gave poor education to children that lead to poor economic status and standard of living. Most of the Catholics tried to get mastery in their work rather than starting new economic projects which as a whole lead to the decline of social and economic standards.

Weber says that the participation in capital acquisition have intimate relationship between religious ideals, the other-worldliness and priestly godliness. The reformed Calvinism boosted the modern Capitalism by unifying religious ideals and capitalistic ideology. Max Weber explains that the reformed Calvinism is the source and course of modern Capitalistic culture.

Weber states that national and religious minorities are deliberately secluded from influential positions of Politics and administration which creates social evils like inequality, unemployment, poverty etc. This is prevalent all around the world especially in countries like India, Sree Lanka, Nepal, Israel and Palestine. This affects social order as well as influence the economic status of individuals.

The theory of Max Weber about the influence of religion and history in the Capitalist culture is still significant in the current era. Even though religion plays a significant role in directing Capitalistic forces, exaggerated importance of the religion can be avoided. So that more innovative ideas based on religion and human history can be generated that helps common people to live better than before.

Akhil 18/12/2013 10:00 PM title
Reviewed by Wilhelm John on May 02 2013

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