Further Considerations – Max Weber.docx

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Religious Studies
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Sarah Iles Johnston

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Further Considerations – Max Weber (CS4972) Regarding Weber's description of the "in-world ascetic" from the sheet provided in class, I would think the story of the traditional Buddha, Shakaymuni, or his traditional name Siddhārtha Gautama would fit this description. I can recount the story of the Buddha if needed to provide more information for this example. Although this becomes problematic when used with Weber's terminology for both mystic and ascetic. Secondly, this got me thinking about the ascetic sect known as Jainism, which would also fit into his description of "in-world ascetic" however from what I understand, Jains neither believe they are tools of god, which would more broadly mean atman, nor are they masters of the world which is not at all correct to what they actually believe. In fact Jains according to Weber would be more accurately placed within the mystic side. If then Jains were to be labeled as "in- world mystics" the description reads: “continues to live within the world but doesn’t care about it. This includes not caring much about the welfare of others.” This is fundamentally opposite to what the Jains actually believe as we are all cosmically linked, which is one reason why Jains strive for peaceful relationships between themselves and the world around them. Finally this leads me to the conclude that Weber’s heuristic use of mystic and ascetic only helps to obscure rather than to help elucidate religions outside of his own. Once applied to a different religious tradition, such as Jainism, this scheme falls apart. Secondly, while applicable with Judeo-Christian worldview this scheme does not adequately describe eastern religions. In the case of eastern religions, the vessel of god is an appropriate application however when described as “resigned to the world but learn to i
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