SparkNotes: The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism: SummaryBegun as a series of essays, the original German text was composed in and , and was translated into English for the first time by American sociologist Talcott Parsons in In the book, Weber wrote that capitalism in Northern Europe evolved when the Protestant particularly Calvinist ethic influenced large numbers of people to engage in work in the secular world, developing their own enterprises and engaging in trade and the accumulation of wealth for investment. In other words, the Protestant work ethic was an important force behind the unplanned and uncoordinated emergence of modern capitalism. In , the International Sociological Association listed this work as the fourth most important sociological book of the 20th century. Although not a detailed study of Protestantism but rather an introduction to Weber's later studies of interaction between various religious ideas and economics The Religion of China: Confucianism and Taoism , The Religion of India: The Sociology of Hinduism and Buddhism , and Ancient Judaism , The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism argues that Puritan ethics and ideas influenced the development of capitalism. The 'spirit of capitalism' does not refer to the spirit in the metaphysical sense but rather a set of values, the spirit of hard work and progress. Religious devotion, Weber argues, is usually accompanied by a rejection of worldly affairs, including the pursuit of wealth and possessions.
Social Forces By Max Weber, 3d ed. Roxbury, Penguin, First translated into English by Talcott Parsons in , Weber's book has been reissued by no fewer than nine publishers in at least sixteen separate editions, not including the two new editions under consideration in this review.
German sociologist Max Weber , in The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism —05 , held that the Protestant ethic was an important factor in the economic success of Protestant groups in the early stages of European capitalism; because worldly success could be interpreted as a sign of eternal salvation, it was vigorously pursued. Although English historian R. Protestant ethic. Article Media. Info Print Cite. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback.
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Max Weber's The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism is a study of the relationship between the ethics of ascetic Protestantism and the emergence of the spirit of modern capitalism. Weber argues that the religious ideas of groups such as the Calvinists played a role in creating the capitalistic spirit. Weber first observes a correlation between being Protestant and being involved in business, and declares his intent to explore religion as a potential cause of the modern economic conditions.