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Lecture

January 11, 2012 Lecture


Department
Religion
Course Code
RLG210Y1
Professor
Joseph Bryant

Page:
of 5
Jan 11, 2012 12-03-26 1:30 AM
Webers Sect-Church dynamic
sects and churches are oriented toward a) distinctive typed of religious
intensity or experience and b) competing “organizational expressions” and
membership standards
against an existing religious tradition, new religious movements begin by
recruiting from those seeking a higher truth a more intense experience –
they are unfulfilled, uninspired by tradition and so are willing to risk
joining/exploring’s something new
SECT – a voluntary association of those who have been called chosed
enlightened inspired who are thus charismatically qualified – commonly
follow exacting purity requirements engage in intensive spiritual activity,
zealous commitment to the faith – true believers + virtuoso or heroic
standards of religiosity for the members = a visible community of saints, hoi
hagioi, the “holy ones”, hoi eklektoi the chosen
Paul’s struggle to being in Gentile converts postolic Decree (c.49 CE) in Acts
15 renders this compromise : “abstain from pollutions of idols from
fornication from things strangled and from blood”
= (1) idolatry/apostasy
2) adultery/fornication
3) murder = mortal sins
no need for circumcision or adherence to full Levitical ritual
Weber, The protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism
broader project : to explore the economic relevance of diverse religious
traditions ie there were spiritual obstacles that long served to restrain the
emergence of societies and cultures dominated by economic interests and
practices
the Protestantism and modernity connection: capitalism, science,
democratization and the culture of individualism
why did capitalism originate in the west? (16th century)
India, china and advanced parts of the Islamic world had many of the key
elements:
large, dense populations, skilled crafts, precious metals and paper money,
urban growth, advanced commerce and trading markets, literacy, the
stirrings of science, complex and ordered societies
with the fall of the roman empire western Europe had become a back water
passing through the Dark Ages: decline of literacy, collapse into local natural
economies, crafts and technologies decay: urban contraction, militarization
of the society
>>feudalism and the manorial economy
weber maintained that there was an elective affinity between Protestantism
and the development of modern capitalism
what is capitalism? a mode of production and distribution based upon:
1) the production of commodities (goods and services) geared to the profit
motive, rather than to use or need satisfaction
2) owners of property hire wage laborers who produce “surplus value” (ie
they receive less in wages than the value of products they produce – MarX)
3) factory or mass produced commodities are sold on a market using a
pricing mechanism that links supply and demand
goal: profit maximization for the owners > they seek market dominance
how to achieve? lower costs of production, improve quality of products
relative to prices accumulated profit reinvests to improve production and
distribution – cant stop!!
webers introduction: the uniqueness of the modern west carries global
significance, now exercising world dominance in economic, military, political
and scientific domains.