The Social and Economic Teachings of John Calvin: A Critique of Max Weber

Publication Year



religion, John Calvin, society, economics, Max Weber, ethics


Christian Denominations and Sects | Christianity | Economics | Ethics and Political Philosophy | Ethics in Religion | European History | Political Science | Religion


The sixteenth century was an important century in the history of the western world. It was the century of Raphael and Michelangelo, of Spenser and Shakespeare, of Erasmus and Rabelais, of Copernicus and Galileo, of Luther and Calvin. Of all the men who gave greatness to this century, none has left a more lasting heritage than John Calvin. At the same time, probably none of them is so universally misunderstood. One of the most recurring ideas about Calvin is that he was responsible for the rise of capitalism in Western Europe and America. Max Weber's famous essay, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism is the original source for this idea.

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