Weber's Protestant Ethic Thesis
Max Weber is one of the well-known scholars in Germany and America for his work in social sciences, humanity and sociology. His work has significantly interested many other scholars from all parts of the world. The Protestant Ethics essay is one of Weber’s writings that made him famous in Germany and America. Weber’s thesis has been of considerable importance to many historians in the seventeenth-century history in the regions affected by Calvinism. Calvinism is a term used to refer to doctrinal teachings adopted by reformed faiths that follow the Christian way of life. Weber’s thesis was of importance because it helped in developing the interrelationship of religion and capitalism in German and America. The protestant ethic spirit that Weber developed in his thesis had a positive impact on today’s capitalism (Johnstone, 2007, p.49).
Weber’s thesis has been given hand by many scholars except a few of them because of its contribution to the development of capitalism. Debates have been raised on how the protestant ethic thesis contributed to capitalism and how it got enthusiastic support. Weber’s writings promoted rapid social changes through well-organized social groups. This was through the development of a protestant class that had a significant effect on capitalism. Through the protestant groups, Weber initiated various agencies at his time of work leading to the development of capitalism. The debate on how Weber contributed to the rise of capitalism is made clear through the fact that he mediated the various agencies thus leading to this rise (Lehmann & Roth, 1995, p.37).
Weber’s work was analyzed by historians and sociologist to find out the effect of Protestantism to the raise of capitalism. Karl Fisher in the 1907 and Rachfahl in 1909 wrote commentaries on Weber’s work of developing capitalism through the protestant ethic. These scholars supported the fact that Weber led to the rise of capitalism. The protestant ethic that Weber instilled to the religious groups is what led to raise of capitalism. In addition, the scholars looked into detail the issue of Calvinism, which Weber had also religiously analyzed, and this clarified the protestant ethic thesis as of importance (Weber & Parsons, 2003, p.78).
Weber’s work started to diminish at some time because of the upcoming scholars though his work was of exceptional significance to other people who had an interest in it. Tawney commented on the protestant ethic while handling his work on Religion and the rise of Capitalism (Weber et al 2002, p.62). He concluded that Weber’s contribution to capitalism was one among the many factors. The protestant ethic thesis as analyzed by many other scholars had an enormous social effect. This thesis had a psychological effect on the individuals because it the method used to structure it was ideal for the purpose. Therefore, the protestant ethic thesis was particularly significant because of its principles that helped develop humanity up to date (Lehmann & Roth, 1995, p.37).
Richard Niebuhr, in his book, “The Social Sources of Denominationalism” reflected the nature of Christianity in Weber’s thesis. He explained that Christianity had contributed positively to capitalism and that Calvinism. Richard revealed that Calvinism was one of the key sources of today’s capitalism. The protestant ethic thesis and the spirit of capitalism have been examined by other scholars the methodology used Weber to develop it attracted a majority of them. Weber‘s the thesis had serious psychological effect on the people’s social life. The thesis contributed to today’s capitalism and sociology making it so significant in developing the works of the upcoming scholars (Johnstone, 2007, p.54).
Johnstone, R. L. (2007). Religion in Society: A Sociology of Religion (8th ed). Upper Saddle
River: Pearson Prentice Hall
Lehmann, H. & Roth, G. (1995). Weber's Protestant Ethic: Origins, Evidence, Contexts.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Weber, M. & Parsons, T. (2003). The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. New York,
NY: Courier Dover Publications
Weber, M., Baehr, P. R. & Wells, G. C. (2002). The Protestant Ethic and the "Spirit" of
Capitalism and Other Writings. London: Penguin Books