- Weber - Protestant Ethic
- Religions exist because people need a system of basic beliefs to make sense of their existence and identity.
- Religion provided people with a 'meaning' to life.
- Argues that the religious beliefs of Calvinism helped to bring about major social change, especially the emergence of capitalism in Northern Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries.
- Saw that the west developed capitalism due to the religions such as Judaism and Christianity supporting it.
- Their fate is already decided by God, but there is nothing you can do to change this. Caused an attitude of helpless fatalism/ resignation.
- Divine transcendence
- God is far above and beyond this world that no human could claim to know his will. Calvinists feel 'unprecedented inner loneliness' which creates a salvation panic among them.
- Give up life's pleasures and encouraged devotion to work - self-discipline and self-denial.
- The idea of a vocation
- Calvinism invited this-worldly asceticism, where vocation means constant, methodical work in an occupation.
- Due to their ascetic lifestyle, this resulted in:
- Their accumulated wealth bring reinvested into their businesses to produce further profit.
- They prospered and came to see this as a sign of God's favour and their salvation.
- Kautsky - overestimates the role of ideas and underestimates economic factors in bringing capitalism into being.
- Tawney - technological change and religous ideas caused capitalism. Only after this was when the bourgeoisie adapted Calvinist beliefs to legitmate the pursuit of economic gain.
- For capitalism to develop, both normative and material conditions were needed. But due to lack of belief system like Calvinism these two examples didn't have capitalism
- Ascetic religion but was other-worldly - directing followers towards the spiritual world
- This-worldly religion that directed followers towards the material world, it was not ascetic.
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