Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, The

The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit ofCapitalism, by the German social economist/sociologist Max Weber (1864–1920), is one of the defining works of classical sociology and draws together themes concerning religion, development, and modernity. The focus of Weber’s argument in this text is that the sociology of religion is related to two connected themes: (1) the role of religious values as drivers of social and economic change and (2) the religious ancestry of the mind-set associated with modern industrial capitalism. The two original essays that form the basis of the text were first published in Archiv für Sozialwissenschaft und Sozialpolitik, a journal in which Weber had an editorial interest. “Part I: The Problem” appeared in October 1904, followed by “Part II: The Vocational Ethic of Ascetic ...

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