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The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism - Max Weber

The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism

By: Max Weber


Published: 28th December 2001
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First published in 1905, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism is one of the most renowned and controversial works of modern social science. It is a book that studies the psychological conditions which made possible the development of capitalist civilisation. The book analyses the connection between the spread of Calvinism and a new attitude towards the pursuit of wealth in post-Reformation Europe and England, an attitude which permitted, encouraged - even sanctified - the human quest for prosperity.
This new edition has been translated and introduced by Weberian scholar Stephen Kalberg. With a precise and nuanced rendering of Weber's style and arguments, Kalberg clarifies the various twists and turns of Weber's complex lines of reasoning. Kalberg's introduction examines the controversy surrounding the book and summarizes major aspects of Weber's analysis. A glossary of major terms is included to make this the clearest, most readable edition of this classic text yet available.

"In a style at once elegant and rigorous, Stephen Kalberg presentsus with a superb translation of Max Weber's classic study ofreligion and economics that to a large extent has defined thenature of the historical sociology of capitalism... [This] work ofauthoritative and authentic scholarship ... will establish thebench mark for Weber translations in the social sciences." BryanS. Turner, University of Cambridge

"I am glad to see this immensely important work, first publisheda century ago, finally made available to the English reading publicin an accessible version ... Kalberg succeeds in making the text apleasure to read." Egon Bittner, Brandeis University

"Weber's classic text has now at last been given the treatmentit deserves in English, with Stephen Kalberg's meticuloustranslation and superb editorial presentation." WilliamOuthwaite, University of Sussex

"This new translation offers a readable, trenchant alternativeto the ideologies of modernity and to the postmodernistphilosophies central to much social theory, ethics and theologytoday. Those interested in the future will attend to this freshrecovery of the past." Max L. Stackhouse, Princeton TheologicalSeminary

"Stephen Kalberg has produced a book that teachers and studentswill find invaluable. What an excellent idea, to combine a newtranslation of Max Weber's The Protestant Ethic and the Spiritof Capitalism with other closely related writings of Weber's, including a detailed and accessible introduction and supportingbackground information on Weber the man, on the book, and on itsplace in contemporary social science. Kalberg's comprehensiveintroduction manages to be informative and scholarly whileremaining a clear and intelligible guide to the book. Theintroduction offers an accurate and refined statement of Weber'simportant and influential (if often misunderstood) thesis, placingit in the context of its era and to Weber's general idea ofsociology. This new version of The Protestant Ethic should greatlyimprove upon its predecessor and clear up misunderstandings ofWeber's meaning which the earlier translation may have engendered."Wes Sharrock, University of Manchester

"This new translation of Weber's The Protestant Ethic, one of the most important social science works of the twentiethcentury, is a welcome and worthwhile enterprise. It carefullypresents the numerous and important nuances of Weber's text, givinga clear idea of the place of this text in the intellectualframework of his time. Professor Kalberg's introduction provides avery interesting commentary on this text as well as the place ofWeber's work in the history of sociology and its relevance to thecentral problems of contemporary sociology theory. [The book] is adistinct contribution - and a tool for students of sociologicaltheory and its history." S.N. Eisenstadt, The Hebrew Universityof Jerusalem

"A couple of years ago I had to re-read Plato's Republic.I was amazed by the striking resemblance between the socialproblems addressed by Plato and the problems of contemporarysocieties. I had similar experience after reading the newtranslation of The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit ofCapitalism by Stephen Kalberg, an internationally acclaimedWeberian scholar. Although capitalism and the discursive formationthat has laid the foundation for its existence has changed verymuch, reading this classical work of Weber reminds one the natureand operations of capitalism that we take for granted...[Kalberg]has successfully overcome the daunting task of balancing betweenkeeping Weber's message intact while at the same time providing areader friendly translation." AlemSeghed Kebede, CaliforniaState University, Bakersfield

"Essentially, Kalberg achieves his goal of providing anindispensable, up-to-date resource for the scholar, teacher, student while, at the same time presenting the general, albeitserious reader with an engaging version of this most outstanding ofWeber's works. Auto/Biography Journal

Introduction to the Translation:Stephen Kalberg.

Introduction to The Protestant Ethic:Stephen Kalberg.


Part I: The Problem:.

1. Religious Affiliation and Social Stratification.

2. The Spirit of Capitalism.

3. Luther's Conception of the Calling.

Task of the Investigation.

Part II: The Vocational Ethic of Ascetic Protestantism:.

4. The Religious Foundations of This-Worldly Asceticism.




The Baptizing Sects and Churches.

5. Asceticism and the Spirit of Capitalism.

The Protestant Sects and the Spirit of Capitalism: Trans. Hans H. Gerth and C. Wright Mills.

"Prefatory Remarks" to Collected Essays in the Sociology of Religion (1920).

Notes for The Protestant Ethic.

Notes for The Protestant Sects.

Notes for Prefatory Remarks.

Name Index.

Subject Index.

ISBN: 9780631230816
ISBN-10: 0631230815
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 352
Published: 28th December 2001
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 1.85
Weight (kg): 0.47
Edition Number: 1