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Max Weber
Social Action Theory
Religion is used to make sense of day to day life.
One part of Weber's analysis suggested that religion justifies the status quo in
Theodicy of privilege or non privilege e.g Hindu Caste system.
A criticism of this could be he doesn't look at how religion shapes the social
reality of individuals.…read more

Slide 2

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Social change
· Religion can bring about social change-
religious ideas can influence this change.
· "The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of
Calvinism"…read more

Slide 3

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What do we need for capitalism?
· Technical knowledge
· Finance
· Labour
· Places like India and China had these things but something
was missing:
· "Work ethic"- committing time, energy and money into
business.…read more

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· 18th Century Europe
· One of the central beliefs ­ "doctrine of predestination".
· Not knowing whether they would go to heaven or hell made
them work hard= "Protestant ethic" + "Salvation anxiety".
· Calvinism was also an "ascetic" religion = "spirit of capitalism"
Disagreed with Marx that religion was
· 1. conservative force
· 2. shaped by economic forces…read more

Slide 5

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· Kautsky: Which came first? Capitalism or Calvinism?
· Did not recognise that other religions also had "capitalist
· Weber's interpretation of Calvinism is contradictory and
incomplete.…read more


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