Evaluation of Weber's religion as a force for change

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  • Evaluation of Weber's religion as a force for change
    • Kautsky: Weber underestimates the role of ideas and underestimates economic factors in bringing Capitalism into being. Also, Capitalism existed before Calvinism.
    • Tawney: Technological changes caused the birth of Capitalism rather than religious ideas. It was only after Capitalism was established when the bourgeoisie adopted Calvinist beliefs to legitimate their pursuit of economic gain.
    • Capitalism hasn't developed in every country that there were Calvinists.
      • Example: There was a large Calvinist population in Scotland but it was slow to develop Capitalism.
        • Marshall: This was because of a lack of investment capital and skilled labour which supports Weber's point that both material and cultural factors need to be present for Capitalism to emerge.
    • Others argue that the reason why Calvinists were the first Capitalists was because they had been excluded by law from political office and  many professions so business was one of the few options open to them.
      • Weberians: Other religious minorities were also excluded in this way but did not become successful Capitalists.


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