• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Stephen Kalberg’s The Social Thought of Max Weber, the newest volume of the SAGE Social Thinkers series, provides a concise introduction to the work, life, and influence of Max Weber, considered to be one of three most important founders (along with Marx and Durkheim) of sociology. The book serves as an excellent introduction to the full range of Weber’s major themes, and explores in detail the extent to which they are relevant today. It is ideal for use as a self-contained volume or in conjunction with other sociological theory textbooks.

“Rationalism” East and West: The Economic Ethics of the World Religions and the Turn Toward a Sociology of Civilizations
“Rationalism” East and West: The Economic Ethics of the World Religions and the Turn Toward a Sociology of Civilizations

This chapter proceeds step by step through the foundational themes, concepts, and methodological procedures of Weber’s sociology of civilizations. It focuses at the outset on his volumes on Confucianism and Daoism (1951), Hinduism and Buddhism (1958), and ancient Judaism (1952) in the Economic Ethics of the World Religion series. Each study enhances greatly the comparative component in Weber’s sociology.

This chapter also discusses, again relying largely on EEWR, how Weber defines civilizations and one of his pivotal concepts: a civilization’s “rationalism.” The subsequent three chapters utilize this construct. ...

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