Lecture 18.docx - Lecture 18 Luther\u2019s concept of the vocation and the protestant ethic Weber will never argue that capitalism is a product of

Lecture 18.docx - Lecture 18 Lutheru2019s concept of the...

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Lecture 18 Luther’s concept of the vocation and the protestant ethic Weber will never argue that capitalism is a product of Protestantism; he sees it as a product of other things as well apart The SOC is one important element of the configuration of modern capitalism The concept of Beruf o This word can be translated as profession or vocation o It contains the word “rufen” in German which means to call o So in the German the idea of a profession and the idea of a calling are etymologically connected o When W talks about the notion of the calling he is linking back to this idea of the vocation. “Luthers concept of the calling”; W is trying to build a link between the SOC and the PE through this notion of the calling i.e vocation The SOC o Generally speaking, the SOC is an orientation to economic activity as an end in itself o For capital this means an orientation to money making, acquisition, as an end in itself o For labor this is an orientation to work as an end in itself o What’s distinctive about modern life for W is that every vocational activity is an end in itself Connecting BEruf and the SOC o Now in connecting Protestantism to the SOC, W will make two sorts of arguments First, he is going to connect Protestantism, and particularly Lutheranism, to the “conception” on the vocation Second, an much more importantly, he is going to connect ascetic Protestantism to a particular “vocational ethic” The calling and Protestantism o W argue that Luther invented the word “calling” which did not exist in its contemporary meaning before the reformation o To understand this claim it may be worth understanding a bit what the reformation was o In countries that did not undergo the PR, you don’t get something like the idea of a vocation. The idea is somehow linked to Luther’s translation of the bible and his insertion of this notion of the calling into the modern world The reformation o The catholic church dominated medieval Europe. Indeed, catholic means universal o In 1517 a priest denounced the corruption of the church Subsequent Developments o This sett off a wave of religious wars (or wards that fought under the guise of religion) o The bloodiest and most important episode was the thirty years war which established the principle that “faith follows the prince”. There would now be a divide between a protestant Europe and a catholic Europe o In the 17 th century, the struggle between Catholics and protestants was sort of like the struggle between communism and capitalism during the cold war o Protestantism is tied up with literacy

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