Weber’s The Protestant Ethic and Spirit of Capitalism

This paper discusses Max Weber’s methodology and theories introduced in his works The Protestant Ethic and Spirit of Capitalism that state that Protestantism provided the correct atmosphere for the development of Capitalism.

Max Weber’s thesis as detailed in his opus, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, is familiar to all students of sociology, as well as to others of the lay audience. Perhaps his theories are too familiar, too popularized for the accurate and proper representation of them. There has been much confusion concerning the work, both over Weber’s methodology and his conclusions. But in spite of all this controversy, Weber’s conclusions still stand as monuments in the field of the sociology of religion and economic theory.

In this paper, I would like to take another critical look at Weber’s work, from my vantage-point of over half a century. In my research, I have been aided by other contemporary scholars, both defenders and opponents of the Protestant Ethic Thesis. Their arguments will also be examined, as well as any further…