Weber: Religion as a force for change.
Weber's study of The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capatalism. In it, Weber argues that the religious beliefs of Calvinism (a form of Protestantism) helped to bring about major social change in 16th & 17th century.Weber notes that past societies had capatalism in the sense of greed and wealth, however modern capatilism is unique. He argues it's based on the systematic, rational pursuitof profit for its own sake, rather than consumption. Weber calls this the spirit of capatalism.
Calvinists had several distinctive beliefs:
- Predestination: God had predetermined which souls would be saved and wich would not, even before birth. Individuals could do nothing whatsoever to change this.
- Divine Transcendance: God was so far above and beyond this would and so incomparably greater than any mortal, that no human being could possibly claim to know his will. Calvinists therefore felt an unprecedented inner loneliness.
- Asceticism: This refers to the abstinence, self-discipline and self-denial. For example monks lead an ascetic existence, refraining from luxury, wearing simple clothes and avoiding excess in order to devote themselves to God and a life of prayer.
-The idea of a vocation or calling: Means constant, methodical work in an occupation, not in a monastry. It was simply a religious duty.