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Lecture 12

EURO ST 10 Lecture Notes - Lecture 12: Calvinism, Protestantism, Protestant Reformation

European Studies
Course Code
John Smith

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Professor Smith
Europe Studies 10
Course Code: 24000
4 units
2018 Fall Quarter
Course Notes
The Practice of Capitalism, Global Trade, Colonialism, Slavery
The Dutch East and West India Companies
More Aspects of Modernity
What is the “spirit” of capitalism according to Weber?
An “ethos”, attitude, a set of values
Defined by the drive to work more than is necessary for the sake of work, or as a
“sign” of worthiness
An “ascetic” attitude
Self-discipline, austerity
Makes possible the overcoming of “traditionalism”
Where did this “work ethic” that is a condition of capitalism come from?
Protestant theology (Luther and Calvin)
How so?
Need to subject the (sinful) body and the desire to have a sign of salvation (god’s
“riches” will be bestowed on me)
Compare developments in northern and southern europe in the 16th and 17th
Or compare, say florence, italy during the renaissance, and backwoods
What’s the difference in economic development?
How can we explain this?
Is there anything else going on during this period
Impact on Culture:
The calvinism of the netherlands contributed to the rise of capitalism, which was
celebrated in dutch art of the 16th and 17th centuries
The domestic sphere, work, and public life of the capitalist republic were themes
of painting, a kind of mirror of dutch life
First: the ethos that drives capitalism
That gets people to devote themselves to work, does not seem to have
anything to do with religion
Second: in fact, capitalism, as it develops, eclipses religion, or is a secularizing
Hence: it takes interpretive work to reveal the surprising fact that behind
capitalism, or one of its conditions of possibility, were ideas derived from religion
Weber and Darwin
How does weber use darwinism
Capitalism had to evolve”
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