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Lecture 4

Lecture 4 - Religion in National and Transnational Contexts - January 29.docx

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Mahiye Secil Dagtas

January 29, 2014. Lecture 4 - Religion in National and Transnational Contexts Weber [1864 – 1920] • Verstehen o Human conduct is intrinsically meaningful and should be focused on in explaining such conduct • Historical contingency o The cultural values that lend meanings to human life are created by specific processes of social development • Disenchantment of the world o Relationship between emergence/proliferation of modern science and social transformations o Rationalizing, intellectualizing, calculating, etc. are now the ways in which we interpret the world rather than belief in or dedication to magical or spiritual forces • The Spirit of Capitalism o Why spirit?  In conversation with Marxist scholars of the time; attempting to reintroduce discussion on ethics and ideology instead of just defining the situation materially o Why is Weber reluctant to give a definition?  It is a historical concept, not an abstract general formula (it makes sense only when it is properly contextualized) o Accumulation of wealth is conjoined with an absence of interest in worldly pleasures  Capitalism is not mere greed/hedonism; not satisfaction from material goods  An ethos; requires self-discipline • The Protestant Ethic o The notion of a calling  To heaven, from God, religious calling to practice o This-worldly asceticism  Emphasis on immanence rather than transcendence  Not only an acceptance of this world but a mastery of it • Hinduism: there is asceticism but it is not this-worldly • Confucianism: there is emphasis on this-world but it does not embody ascetic values • Anci
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