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Weber felt that in franklins writing and practical advice weber felt that
franklin what you see in franklin is frugality hardwork etc. yet he holds that
Calvinist ethos. Not just the glorification of making money but doing it in a
way that exemplifies making money in a certain way.
chapter 2: the spirit of capitalism
Benjamin franklin (1706-1790) as exempler of the spirit” scientist,
inventor, statesman, entrepreneur had a strict Calvaist upbringing.
Offer an “ethos”- a moralized notion of character and conduct not just
business savvy or cunning work and earn; avoid hedonic distractions
and waste; diligence and sobriety
Poor Richard’s Almanac (1732-58)I 10,000 copies circulation famous sayings
“Time is money” “There are no gains without pains” “Get what you can and
hold what you get” etc
People turned to Franklin as a role model of how to live and what to do.
comparison with Jacob Fugger (1459- 1525) the great banker-
merchant, who was asked about retirement, answered:” I just want to
make money till I drop dead.”
Renaissance merchants- obtain riches and then lives and then live a
lavish life-style, conspicuous consumption, pleasure and leisure.
- Luther crucially important for the reformation.
- “The saving power of God for everyone that has faith.” Luther
- the church the reformers came to argue was actually a corruption of
Christianity.The changed claimed unrestricted power of forgiving sins.
-Pope Leo X (son of Lorenzo the Magnificent) needed huge sums for the
rebuilding of St. Peters Basillica and other lavish patronage of the arts.
Luther condemns this and the power of the Pope (“If the Pope has
power over Purgatory, he should release those imprisoned now”)
Writes On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church(1520), denounces Pope as
antichrist, insists there are only 3 sacraments- eucharist (return the cup to
the people), Baptism and Penance (requires individual faith alone)
-Luther finds the essence of Christianity in Paul’s Letter to the Romans
“the saving power of God for everyone who has faith”
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-Luther calls for “a priesthood of all believers” the equality of all believers
before God Luther rejects monasticism- true Christian life must be lived in
the world, not in retreat.
The teligious foundation of worldy asceticism
Here weber exmines the major Protestant sects: Calvinism, pietism,
Methodism, the Baptist movemets(the latter 3 more open to emotionalist
aspects of faith)
Inner-Worldly Asceticism: people have typically tried to discipline
their own bodies and desires to largely escape this world and weber
uses the term other-worldly ascetism- you try to deny your bosy/ master
your bosy as the way of escaping that it’s the bosy that keeps you
attached to the world. E.g. the highest level of other-worldly ascetism
has taken place in India- Buddhism Hinduism etc.
-Inner worldly Ascetism: askesis- training, exercise, discipline with the rise of
Christianity, this becomes ‘renunciation’ from worldly temptation: luxury, sex,
Weber will argue that Protestantism will require people to live astetically in
this world not as a way to escape it but to prove your faith, the rigor of your
spiritual commitment to god. So it is v. much this worldly and not a
mechanism of escape. This will ahvea v key role in the further development
John Calvin/ Jean Cauvin(1509-64), a French lawyer-theologian, leader of
Everything already has to be according to a divine plan. Calvin nott he first
person to develop the idea. Augustine did earlier. But Calvin pushes it to an
extreme. Calvin was convinced that the overwhelming population of people
were destined for hell only a selected few were destined to heavan. So it was
predetermined that most of them were predestined for hell.
he admits that it is a harsh teaching but it mobalizes from everything
he has experienced and studied.
Calvinism becomes the dominant or prominent faith in the
Netherlands, England, france Switzerland- many internal political-
cultural battles in the 16th and 17th centuries.
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