EURO ST 10 Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: Pietism, Protestantism, Ninety-Five Theses
Course CodeEURO ST 10
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Europe Studies 10
Course Code: 24000
2018 Fall Quarter
● What is driving capitalism?
○ Greed and avarice?
○ The accumulation of capital? A banking system? Trade?
○ Individuals succeeding?
○ Yes, but more is needed
○ What is the relation between these aspects of the economic system and the
“attitude” that turns these aspects into full-blown capitalism?
○ See page 9 or p.11 on “ascetic” attitude
■ What is asceticism?
○ “Severe self-discipline and avoidance of indulgence, often for religious reasons”
● The necessary conditions
○ What conditions foster the development of modern capitalism?
○ “...the spirit of capitalism was present before the capitalistic order”
○ Hence, the “revolutionary process” of capitalism cannot be explained in strictly
economic terms but needed “the spirit of capitalism”
○ Defined as:
■ “Temperate self-control”, a set of “ethical qualities”
○ In sum: for capitalism to develop it needed an ethos, an attitude, a “spirit”, that
encouraged hard work and asceticism for their own sakes
■ Only they could overcome “traditionalism”
○ And where did this attitude or spirit come from?
○ Protestant theology
○ What is “rationalization” can we see that is connected to capitalism?
○ “Time is money” - this leads to thinking about efficiency
○ Can we explain capitalism merely by appealing to this phenomenon
○ Clearly it is important, but what (for weber) is behind the king of thinking?
● More historical examples
○ Women workers of pietist (strict protestant) background
○ Florence vs. “backwoods pennsylvania” (13)
■ What’s the difference between these two places in terms of the
development of capitalism?
○ Florence has all the conditions (banking, trade, capital...) but is lacking what?
● Time and Place
○ Where and when does capitalism emerge in Europe?
○ Northern europe: germany, england, and especially holland
○ What is different about these countries, as opposed to those of southern europe
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