Weber: Religion As A Force For Change Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Weber: Religion As A Force For Change Deck (19)
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What did Weber study in 1905?

The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism


The religious beliefs of what form of Protestantism helped to bring about major social change?



What makes modern capitalism unique according to Weber?

It is based on the systematic, efficient and rational pursuit of profit for its own sake rather than for consumption


What is modern capitalism based on?

The spirit of capitalism


What are the four Calvinist beliefs?

Predestination, divine transcendence, asceticism and the idea of a vocation or calling


What does the idea of predestination refer to?

It assumes that God had predetermined which souls would be saved - 'the elect' - and that individuals could do nothing whatsoever to change it


What does the idea of divine transcendence refer to?

It assumes that God is so far above and beyond this world and so incomparably greater than any mortal, the no human could ever claim to know his will which lead the Calvinists to feel an 'unprecedented inner loneliness'


What does asceticism refer to?

This refers to abstinence, self-discipline and self-denial


What is the idea of a vocation or calling?

The only thing that Calvinists knew of gods plan came from the bible which talks about the idea of glorifying gods name by our work which for the Calvinists, their calling or vocation meant constant, methodical work in an occupation, not a monastery


What two consequences did the Calvinists hard work and asceticism lead to?

Their wealth and success performed a psychological function and driven by their work ethic, they systematically and methodically accumulated wealth by the most efficient and rational means possible which allowed their businesses to grow and prosper


What does Weber acknowledge about other societies that had a higher level of economic development than Northern Europe?

He notes that they still failed to develop modern capitalism such as in ancient China and India who were far more materially advanced


What reason does Weber provide for the failure of modern capitalism in such countries as China and India?

He argues that it was because of a lack of a religious belief system like that of Calvinism that would have spurred its development


What does 'other-worldly' mean?

It directs its followers concerns away from the material world and towards the spiritual world


What type of religion was Confucianism?

Confucianism is a this-worldly religion that directed its followers towards the material world, but unlike Calvinism it was not ascetic


What was unique about Calvinism?

It combined asceticism with a this-worldly orientation that allowed the spirit of modern capitalism to emerge


How do Marx and Webers views differ about how capitalism emerged?

Marx saw economic or material factors as the driving force for capitalism to emerge whereas weber argues that cultural factors have a role to play such as the beliefs and values of Calvinism


How does Kautsky criticise Weber?

He argues that weber overestimates the role of ideas and underestimates economic factors in bringing capitalism into being. He argues that in fact capitalism preceded rather than followed Calvinism


What alternative reason does Tawney provide for the birth of capitalism?

He argues that technological change, not religious ideas which caused the birth of capitalism


How else is Weber criticised on his ideas about the emergence of capitalism?

Capitalism did not develop in every country where there were calvinists