Interactionism and Religion -MAX WEBER

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  • Created on: 22-01-15 17:34
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  • Interactionism and Religion -MAX WEBER
    • Religion deals with theodicy (How we make sense of the world)
      • it answers questions like 'Why am I poor, whilst he is rich?'
      • In many western religions there is a belief that suffering in this life will bring rewards in the next
    • Calvinism
      • In Weber's view capitalism was allowed to develop in the West, because it was compatible with the Calvinist teachings.
        • Many of the early entrepreneurs were Calvinists and they tended to save or reinvest their wealth
        • The Calvinist beliefs transformed the undisciplined workforce into conscientious and industrious who saw their work as a life purpose that was willed by God
        • Weber argues these ideas helped initiate Western economic development through the industrial revolution and capitalism
        • The protestant ethic not only encouraged 'the spirit of capitalism' but also a new 'spirit of labour' and the former could not have existed without the latter
      • Calvinists believed in pre-destination. You were either damned or saved.
      • Work was seen as a calling and God was most effectively worshiped through a disciplined life and denied indulgence
        • All activity that distracted from work was 'evil'
          • If a persons work was rewarded with material success it was a sign of Gods grace that they were one of the elect
      • Some countries with large Calvinist populations like Norway and Sweden did not industialise
      • Marxists such as KAUTSKY (1982) argue capitalism predates Calvinism
        • Early capitalists were attracted to Calvinism because it made their interests appear legit.


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