Sociology 318

November 13 – 15, 2002

Max Weber: The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism – Continued

 7. The Calling

 Weber argues that the Reformation was not the result of historical necessity (as Marx argued), and the capitalistic spirit not merely the result of the Reformation and its effects. Rather, Weber regards the Reformation as emerging independently of economic factors but examines the ways that ideas from the Reformation are connected with the capitalistic spirit.

Weber introduces the concept of the English "calling, a religious conception, that of a task set by God" (Weber, p. 39) is absent from civilized languages, antiquity, Catholicism, or German mysticism. Weber argues that the concept of the calling was a new idea, a product of the Reformation, and a Protestant notion. The concept of calling that was new involved "the valuation of the fulfilment of duty in worldly affairs as the highest form which the moral activity of the individual could assume" (Weber, p. 40). This gave "every-day worldly a religious significance" (Weber, p. 40) and the individual was to fulfil the obligations of his or her position in the world in order to be acceptable by God. Unlike the monk, whose duty was to be otherworldly, obtaining salvation by denying self and the world, for Protestants fulfilment of one’s duty in worldly affairs was the highest form that the moral activity of individuals could take. In fact, Weber argues that Martin Luther (1483-1546) reversed the earlier Catholic approach. That is, Luther came to consider monks’ renunciation of the world as "selfishness, withdrawing from temporal obligations. In contrast, labour appears to him [Luther] as the outward expression of brotherly love" (Weber, p. 41). While Weber considers Luther’s claim to be poorly argued, "this moral justification of worldly activity was one of the most important results of the Reformation" (Weber, p. 41).

While the concept of calling was first developed by Luther, he was not all that friendly to capitalism or the capitalistic spirit, and a more traditional view of economic activity came to dominate Luther’s teachings – opposition to capital and profit-making and acceptance of one’s occupation and work "as a divine ordinance, to which he must adapt himself" (Weber, p. 44). Such a view was not conducive to a radical shift in approach to economic activity, rather it led to "obedience to authority and the acceptance of things as they were" (Weber, p. 45).

In contrast, the teachings of Calvin, Wesley and others were also concerned with the salvation of the soul, but these teachings had consequences that were unforeseen. Weber quotes Milton, arguing that "this powerful expression of the Puritan’s serious attention to this world, his acceptance of his life in the world as a task" (Weber, p. 47) expresses a view different from Lutheranism or Catholicism.

Weber argues that for reformers such as Calvin, the Puritan sects, and for men like Menno, George Fox, and Wesley:

They were not the founders of societies for ethical culture nor the proponents of humanitarian projects for social reform or cultural ideals. The salvation of the soul alone was the centre of their life and work. Their ethical ideals and the practical results of their doctrines were all based on that alone, as were the consequences of purely religious motives. We shall thus have to admit that the cultural consequences of the Reformation were to a great extent, ... unforeseen and even unwished-for results of the labours of their reformers. They were often far removed from or even in contradiction to all that they themselves thought to attain. (Weber, p. 48).

It was in the teachings of John Calvin and the Calvinists that Weber saw the clearest expression of the calling in a manner that had connections to the development of the capitalistic spirit. That is, the teachings of these writers were not directed toward ethical culture, humanitarianism, social reform, or cultural ideals. But the unintended consequences of their teachings included spurring on the development of the capitalistic spirit.

8. Religious foundations of worldly asceticism

At the end of section I, Weber notes that the Reformation was not the only factor in creating the spirit of capitalism or capitalism itself, since there were capitalistic forms of organization prior to this. What Weber examines is whether "religious forces" contributed to "the qualitative formation and the quantitative expansion of that spirit over the world" (Weber, p. 49).

Weber then begins the second section (chapter 4) with a discussion of the four main forms of ascetic Protestantism – Calvinism, Pietism, Methodism, and Baptist sects – although other groups also developed or adopted similar teachings. He notes that these religious groups overlap with other Protestant groups and the ascetic teachings and independent organization as churches took place only gradually (Weber, pp. 53-55).

What interests Weber is not the ethical teachings of these religions but "the influence of those psychological sanctions which, originating in religious belief and the practice of religion, gave a direction to practical conduct and held the individual to it" (Weber, p. 55). He argues that the examples and teachings presented are ideal types "as they could at best but seldom be found in history" (Weber, p. 56).

9.         Calvinism

The teachings of John Calvin (French and Swiss, 1509-1564), and the churches in the Reformed tradition form the main group of Calvinists. The most widely known groups in this tradition are the Huguenots of France, the Calvinists of Geneva, the Reformed churches of Holland, the Puritans of England and New England, and the Presbyterian Church in Scotland and North America.

Calvin was born in France, studied law, classics, and Hebrew, and then turned his attention and energies to the Reformation, opposing conservative theological teachings. His writings against the papacy and arguing for justification by faith alone were influential and in 1536 he went to Geneva to carry through Reformation work and to write. After disagreements with the people of Geneva, he left but in 1541 was called back to Geneva, where he constructed a government based on subordination of state to church. Laws and regulations were rewritten so that daily life was subject to church doctrines and practices. While he opposed exploitation and self-indulgence, Calvin favoured trade and production, and was not antagonistic to the capitalism that was developing around him and among his followers.

In Scotland, it was John Knox (1514-1572) who developed Calvin’s ideas and helped establish Presbyterianism as the official religion. Knox met and worked with Calvin and, incorporated elements of Calvinist doctrine in Scotland.

Calvinism has several major doctrines. It rejects consubstantiation (a Lutheran doctrine), views grace as irresistible, has a rigid doctrine of predestination, and originally had a theocratic view of the state. The Calvinist doctrines look on God's will as sovereign, and that the church should not be subject to the state (although this led to the church dominated societies of Geneva and parts of New England). The doctrine of predestination is preeminent in Calvinism, "stressing the absolute sovereignty of God’s will, held that only those whom God specifically elects are saved, that this election is irresistible, and that man can do nothing to effect this salvation." (Columbia Encyclopedia, p. 428).

No one could save the individual, no priest, not the Church, no sacraments. In contrast to Lutheranism where "grace was revocable … and could be won again by penitent humility and faithful trust in the word of God and in the sacraments" (Weber, p. 59), for Calvin,

"the complete elimination of salvation through the Church and the sacraments ... was what formed the absolutely decisive difference from Catholicism." (Weber, p. 61).

Weber regards this as the logical conclusion of the elimination of magic, that is, a rational development in religion – the "genuine Puritan even rejected all signs of religious ceremony at the grave" so no magic or sacraments would creep in (Weber, p. 61). As a result, among believers there was "a fundamental antagonism to sensuous culture of all kinds" (Weber, p. 62). Weber argues that Calvin came to this approach as a logical result of this theological arguments, not through experience. That is, for Calvin people exist for God, not God for people (Weber, p. 59).

Weber notes that Calvin’s interest was solely in God, and people exist only for the sake of God. Only a few are chosen and the rest are damned. Human merit or guilt plays no role in whether or not one is elect. This doctrine produced "unprecedented inner loneliness of the single individual." (Weber, p. 60). In addition to rejection of salvation through church and sacraments, this produced an extreme individualism a "pessimistically inclined individualism" which even led to rejection of friendship (Weber, p. 62). The individual Calvinist’s connection with God was "carried on in deep spiritual isolation." (Weber, p. 63). For Pilgrim in John Bunyan’s (1628-88, Puritan minister in England) Pilgrim’s Progress, salvation was individual, leaving family behind as demonstration of individual salvation . Weber notes that this is not the spirit of enlightenment, but is a pessimistically disillusioned type of individualism – a "tendency to tear the individual away from the closed ties with which he is bound to this world" (Weber, p. 64). Further, Weber arguest that Calvin’s doctrines also "placed the individual entirely on his own responsibility in religious matters" (Weber, p. 65).

For Calvin, people are on earth only to glorify God. The duty of the Christian was to show God’s glory in a calling. This meant doing one’s daily tasks, and this often mean fulfilling the job in a rational organization.

The elected Christian is in the world only to increase this glory of God by fulfilling His commandments to the best of his ability. ... Brotherly love, ... is expressed in the first place in the fulfilment of the daily tasks given. ... This makes labour in the service of impersonal social usefulness appear to promote the glory of God and hence to be willed by him. (Weber, p. 64).

The Calvinist Christian was concerned with the question of whether he or she was one of the elect. Calvin was certain that he, himself, was "a chosen agent of the Lord (Weber, p. 65). Others were undoubtedly less certain and had to be content with accepting God’s will. Since this caused suffering on the part of the individual, two forms of pastoral advice were given. First, it was

an absolute duty to consider oneself chosen, and to combat all doubts as temptations of the devil, since lack of self confidence is the result of insufficient faith, hence of imperfect grace. ... a duty to attain certainty of one’s own election and justification in the daily struggle of life. (Weber, pp. 66-67).

Second, "in order to attain that self-confidence intense worldly activity is recommended as the most suitable means. It and it alone disperses religious doubts and gives the certainty of grace." (Weber, p. 67). This contrasts with Lutheranism, whereby God promises grace to those who trust in God, who maintain "humility and simplicity indispensable for the forgiveness of sins" so that "the positive valuation of external activity is lacking in its relation to the world" (Weber, p. 68).

Faith was thus identified with the type of Christian conduct which glorifies God. Works were not a means of purchasing salvation, but of getting rid of the fear of damnation. "In practice this means that God helps those who help themselves. Thus the Calvinist … himself creates his own salvation, or, as would be more correct, the conviction of it" (Weber, p. 69). But this is not done through occasional good works, or a gradual accumulation of points toward salvation, "but rather in a systematic self-control which at every moment stands before the inexorable alternative, chosen or damned." (Weber, pp. 69-70). While this means that the Christian must have a life of good works, this is in contrast with the Catholic doctrine of salvation through good works. That is, the Catholic "conscientiously fulfilled his traditional duties. But beyond that minimum, his good works did not necessarily form connected, or at least a rationalized, system of life, but remained a succession of individual acts" (Weber, p. 70). In Calvinism, there was certainly no room for the "very human Catholic cycle of sin, repentance, atonement, release, followed by renewed sin." or the intervention and mediation of a priest (Weber, p. 71). This resulted in a consistent method for daily life – a pattern also fitted by Methodism.

Weber argues that, in contrast to monks in eastern religions, the asceticism of Christianity in the west was

emancipated from planless otherworldliness and irrational self-torture. It had developed a systematic method of rational conduct with the purpose of overcoming the status naturae, to free man from the power of irrational impulses and his dependence on the world and on nature. (Weber, p. 72).

While the monks of the medieval world developed systematic self control, Weber argues that this asceticism drove the individual farther and farther from everyday life. In contrast, with the Reformation, every Christian had to become a monk in everyday life, and through the whole life. To this, Calvinism added

the idea of the necessity of proving one’s faith in worldly activity. Therein it gave broader groups of religiously inclined people a positive incentive to asceticism. By founding its ethic in the doctrine of predestination, it substituted for the spiritual aristocracy of monks outside of and above the world the spiritual aristocracy of the predestined saints of God within the world. (Weber, pp. 74-75).

This developed into a comparison of relationships with God to business enterprise and a book-keeping of virtues. Weber notes "the process of sanctifying life could thus almost take on the character of a business enterprise. A thoroughgoing Christianization of the whole of life was the consequence of this methodical quality of ethical conduct" (Weber, p. 77).

Weber concludes his discussion of Calvinism by comparing it with Luther and Lutheranism. "The Lutheran faith thus left the spontaneous vitality of impulsive action and naïve emotion more nearly unchanged" (Weber, p. 79). There was not the "motive to constant self-control" because the Lutheran could always regain salvation through "penitent contrition," so that there was a "simple, sensitive, and peculiarly emotional form of piety" (Weber, pp. 78-79).

10. Other ascetic Protestant movements

Weber goes on to discuss other Protestant movements – Pietism, Methodism, and Anabaptism.

a. Pietism was a movement in the Lutheran church, primarily in north and central Germany, between the 1670s and 1750s. It was an effort to stir the church out of a settled attitude in which dogma and intellectual religion seemed to be supplanting the Bible and religion of the heart. It emphasized Bible study and the belief that lay members of the church should have a say in spiritual control. While similar to Puritanism in having distinctive dress and renunciation of worldly pleasures, its primary aim was to place the spirit of Christian living above the letter of doctrine. This movement was influential on Count Zinzendorf (1700-1760) of the Moravian Church, and on Kant and Kirkegaard. It was not so much a formal religion as a movement within the Church. (This paragraph comes from the description in Columbia Encyclopedia, p. 2147).

Weber argues that Pietism had many parallels with Calvinism and generally adopted the principles of ascetic Protestantism. Its members attempted to live free of temptations of the world and give proof of their salvation and rebirth through "external signs manifested in their daily conduct" (Weber, p. 81). Weber also notes that some Pietists were more emotional and adopted many Lutheran doctrines and approaches, so the Pietists were not as systematically ascetic in their approach to daily life. He notes that the virtues favoured by Pietism "were more those on the one hand of the faithful official, clerk, labourer, or domestic worker, and on the other of the predominantly patriarchal employer" (Weber, p. 88). This is in contrast to the legalist Calvinist and the "active enterprise of bourgeois-capitalistic entrepreneurs" (Weber, p. 88).

Methodism was another group that developed an ascetic approach, although with Pietism a secondary movement in terms of ideas and historical significance (Weber, p. 92).

b. Methodism emerged in the 1720s in England under the leadership of John and Charles Wesley. The group became termed "Methodists" because of the emphasis on living by rule and method. They emerged out of the Church of England but emphasized conversion and holiness. Their early meetings were often in fields or barns, perhaps an early form of the tent meeting revivals of later evangelists in North America. There are various branches today, with some churches calling themselves Methodist. One denomination that joined the United Church of Canada were the Methodists, along with some Presbyterians and Congregationalists. (Part of this paragraph comes from the description in Columbia Encyclopedia).

Weber notes that this group had a "methodical, systematic nature of conduct" and "the method was used primarily to bring about the emotional act of conversion" (Weber, p. 89). Bringing the message to the masses through missionary efforts characterized Methodism in Britain and North America, and led to missionary efforts in other countries. Part of the doctrine of Methodism was "a belief in the underserved possession of divine grace and at the same time of an immediate consciousness of justification and forgiveness." (Weber, p. 89). This stands in great contrast to the predestination of Calvinism but led to a view that works, while not a means of salvation, are "the means of knowing one’s state of grace" (Weber, p. 90). The methodical approach to salvation, although emotional, "once awakened, was directed into a rational struggle for perfection" (Weber, p. 92). Again this resulted in rational, daily, methodical application in a calling, but one that emerged from a somewhat different set of principles than predestination.

c. Baptist sects. Here Weber appears to be discussing primarily the Anabaptists (rebaptise) and Quakers, and not so much the English groups that formed the Baptist churches that we presently have in North America. The doctrine of these groups can in no way be considered Calvinist, at least with respect to predestination. Weber notes that these doctrines form an independent basis for Protestant asceticism. While diverse, these groups can be characterized as "believer’s Church" (Weber, p. 93) in the sense that individuals could gain salvation and the church was "a community of personal believers of the reborn, and only these" (Weber, p. 93). While these groups did not generally use symbols and ceremonies, baptism of believers was a symbol that an "adult … personally gained their own faith" (Weber, p. 93). For these groups, there was to be "strict avoidance of the world, in the sense of all not strictly necessary intercourse with worldly people, together with the strictest bibliocracy in the sense of taking the first generations of Christians as a model" (Weber, p. 94). In addition, they were nonresistant, refusing to participate in military activities or defend themselves with the use of physical force. Among these groups were Mennonites, named after Menno Simons (1496-1561) and Dunckards (Weber, 97). Weber also includes the Quakers, although they originated in England, whereas the Baptist sects came from Germany, Holland, and Switzerland. In all cases they rejected the established church, whether Catholic, Lutheran, or Calvinist, and argued that the church was a church of believers, a grouping of people who were reborn.

Among the features mentioned by Weber that may have assisted in creating a worldly ascetic approach were:

d. Common elements. At the end of chapter 4, Weber states that there were many disparated elements among these religious groups, but several common elements stand out to help create an ascetic Protestantism with effects on a capitalistic spirit.

In the conclusion to chapter 4, Weber summarizes by arguing:

The religious life of the saints, as distinguished from natural life, was – the most important point – no longer lived outside the world in monastic communities, but within the world and its institutions. This rationalization of conduct within this world, but for the sake of the world beyond, was the consequence of the calling of ascetic Protestantism. … Christian asceticism … strode into the market-place of life, slammed the door of the monastery behind it, and undertook to penetrate just that daily routine of life with its methodicalness, to fashion it into a life in the world, but neither of nor for this world" (Weber, pp. 100-101).

11. Puritanism

In the last chapter of The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, Weber reviews the doctrines of the Puritans. In particular he reviews some of the arguments of Richard Baxter, a leading Puritan in England. Richard Baxter (1615-1691) was a nonconformist or dissenting clergyman in the Church of England who ultimately left that church. Weber notes that he became a Presbyterian and his writings are a compendium of Puritan ethics.

Puritanism was a movement of reform in the Church of England (Anglican/Episcopalean) in the sixteenth and sevententh century. They viewed the Church as too political and Catholic, arguing against bishops and state churches. They were Calvinist in doctrine, accepting predestination and demanded scriptural justification for all parts of public worship. Puritans were split into Presbyterians, who favoured a central church government, and Congregationalists, who looked on the church as autonomous congregations of believers, with direct connection to Jesus Christ. Puritans were persecuted and some left for the United States, with the first migration being on the Mayflower. Those who remained in England became politically powerful, with John Milton being a representative of their views. In New England, Puritanism became a powerful force with a merging of political and religious power. While Puritanism ultimately lost political force, ideas of self-reliance, frugality, industry, and energy, along with severe and unremitting discipline remained influential. The connection between these religious doctrines and the emergence of New England as a leader in economic affairs, eductional institutions, and democratic political forms is an important feature of the development of American society. (Most of this paragraph comes from the description in Columbia Encyclopedia, p. 2247).

For Baxter, "wealth as such is a great danger" and "is morally suspect" when compared with the "dominating importance of the Kingdom of God" (Weber, p. 103). These seem to be statements inconsistent with the capitalistic spirit, but Weber argues that these have to be more closely examined. Weber argues that "the real moral objection is to relaxation in the security of possession, the enjoyment of wealth with the consequence of idleness and the temptations of the flesh, above all the distraction from the pursuit of a religious life" (Weber, p. 104). For Baxter, individuals on earth must do the proper works to increase the glory of God.

Waste of time is a first principle and "hard, continuous bodily or mental labour" (Weber, p. 105) is important as ascetic technique and as a defence against other temptations. Weber notes that ascetic Protestantism has some similarities to monastic asceticism with respect to matters of sexuality, and is in some respects even more severe. With respect to work, this is required even for the wealthy and "the providential purpose of the division of labour is to be known by its fruits" (Weber, p. 107) Weber comments that in the view of the Puritan writers, "irregular work, which the ordinary labourer is often forced to accept, is often unavoidable, but always an unwelcome state of transition. A man without a calling thus lacks the systematic, methodical character which is ... demanded by worldly asceticism." (Weber, p. 107). For the Puritan God demands "rational labour in a calling." (Weber, p. 107), that is a methodical character and not merely acceptance of one’s lot in life (Weber, p. 108). That is, for Weber, the religious doctrines of Protestantism did not lead toward a passive existence, but an active one of finding a calling, applying oneself systematically in this, and "taking advantage of the opportunity" (Weber, p. 108) that presents itself.

Weber then connects this to an ethical argument for or justification of the division of labour which emerged and expanded as industrial capitalism developed. The profit-making of the businessman justified his activities, and the fixed calling the work of the worker in a highly developed division of labour. Weber notes that this was from "the God of the Old Testament, who rewards His people for their obedience in this life" (Weber, p. 109). Note though that Weber distinguishes the effect of Old Testamnet teachings – contrasting the speculative and adventurous capitalism of Jews from the rational organization of capital and labour for Puritans. (Weber, p. 111).

Weber discusses Puritan attitudes toward sporting activities, art, theatre, and fashion. Note Weber’s insightful comment

That powerful tendency toward uniformity of life, which to-day so immensely aids the capitalistic interest in the standardization of production, had its ideal foundations in the repudiation of all idolatry of the flesh. (Weber, p. 114).

While the trend toward standardization continues today, it takes a reverse direction with respect to clothing and fashion.

With respect to wealth, the attitude was one of responsibility for that wealth, and responsibility toward possessions, "for holding them undiminished for the glory of God and increasing them by restless effort." (Weber, p. 115). Consumption, especially of luxuries, was to be restricted. Thus the acquisition of wealth was not restricted, but the rational expansion of wealth was tolerated or encouraged, as willed by God. What was discouraged was the irrational use of wealth. Together these teachings acted to assist the accumulation of capital by encouraging the ascetic compulsion to save. The Puritan writers "set the clean and solid comfort of the middle-class home as an ideal" (Weber, p. 116).

p. 115 main paragraph quote summarizes argument to this point

and p. 116

Weber notes that the connection of the limitation of consumption with saving, acquisitive activity, and the productive investment of capital were all connected very strongly in New England and in Holland. This contrasted with the plantation owners who wished to live like feudal lords (Weber, p. 117).

In contrast to the wealthy, most religious denominations argued that "faithful labour, even at low wages … is highly pleasing to God" (Weber, p. 121). This helped "legalize the exploitation of this specific willingness to work, in that it also intepreted the employer’s busines activity as a calling" (Weber, p. 121). The calling thus included both the acquisitive activities of the businessman and the labour of the worker. English Calvinists opposed the alliance of Church, State, monopolists, and aristocracy. "Over against this they placed the individualistic motives of rational legal acquisition by virtue of one’s own ability and initiative" (Weber, p. 122). This assisted in the expansion of industries, even in the face of opposition from the state.

On p. 123, Weber makes a comment that may be of current relevance. He notes that while the Puritans wanted a way out of an earlier dominant order, the result of their activities has been to lead to machine production "which to-day determine the lives of all the individuals who are born into this mechanism … Perhaps it will so determine them until the last ton of fossilized coal is burnt." That is, Weber’s only way out of this rationalized economic system is through ecological crisis. Here he makes reference to the iron cage.

In conclusion he notes that victorious capitalism no longer needs a religious ascetic. Enlightenment ideas, perhaps promising, seem eclipsed and pursuit of wealth tends "to become associated with purely mundance passions" (Weber, p. 124).

12. Summary

Weber’s approach connects the emergence of some Protestant religions with the psychological changes necessary to allow for the development of the spirit of capitalism. The Protestant idea of a calling, with worldly asceticism is an independent force, one which was not created by the change in institutions and structures (e.g. money, trade, commerce, etc.) but emerged entirely separately as an unintended consequence of the Reformation. These new ways of thinking and acting undoubtedly played a role in changing the view of people who became capitalists and workers. How important this was as a factor in the development of capitalism, compared to the changes in the institutions and structures cannot really be determined. However, since Weber’s view of the inner motives for the capitalistic spirit are connected closely with the nature of capitalism, as Weber views it, these religious factors must have exercised considerable influence.

The influence of ideas in history, the method of ideal types, causal pluralism and probability, and the connection of the study of history and sociology can all be seen in an examination of The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism from the viewpoint of Weber’s methodology. In addition, his view concerning the rational nature of capitalism, and the factors important in developing this, can also be seen.

12.       Some Criticisms of Weber’s Approach

a.         Narrow concepts. The concepts used by Weber are very narrowly defined. Capitalism itself is a different concept than what Marx used, and the capitalistic spirit is a fairly limited concept. The notion of rationality seems to play a much greater role in Weber’s writings, to the extent that anything he regards as irrational is not capitalism. This defines away many of the characteristics of capitalism.

b.         Catholicism and capitalism. With respect to religion, some have argued that Catholicism, especially in the period before the Reformation, was not all that inhibiting toward capitalistic activity. As evidence, it can be noted that many of the early capitalist developments occurred in the Italian city states, and these were Catholic areas. In addition, many of the Protestant groups do not seem to fit Weber’s model. The Calvinists and Puritans are really the only two groups who fit the model closely, although the Methodists also fit the pattern to some extent. However, the other groups either do not fit, or their doctrines may be misinterpreted by Weber, e.g. the Anabaptists, with their more communistic views.

c.         Empirical evidence. Is Weber’s empirical evidence correct? For New England, parts of England and Scotland, Holland and Geneva, Weber may be in large parts correct. However, other areas of Catholic dominance also achieved considerable early capitalist successes, for example, parts of Germany, France, and Italy.


d.         Direction of causation. Which direction does the causal connection go? Weber continually asserts that the religious doctrines were separated from the economic aspects, but does not really disprove the Marxist view that the changes in religion occurred because of economic necessities. The new religions probably did develop on the basis of spiritual considerations only, but they did not remain spiritual only for very long. Luther, Calvin, the Puritans, and many others were heavily involved in political activities and pronouncements. The interests of the bourgeois class may have acted to help encourage the development of the Calvinist religious views and encouraged their widespread influence.



Adams, Bert N. and R. A. Sydie, Sociological Theory, Thousand Oaks, Pine Forge, 2001

Harris, William H. and Judith S. Levey, The New Columbia Encyclopedia, New York, Columbia University Press, 1975.

Giddens, Anthony, Capitalism and Modern Social Theory: An analysis of the writings of Marx, Durkheim and Max Weber, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1971

Giddens, Anthony and David Held, Classes, Power, and Conflict: Classical and Contemporary Debates, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1982). HT675 C55 1982

Weber, Max, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, London, Routledge, 1992.


Last edited November 15, 2002

Return to Sociology 318