The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Authoritarianism: Puritanism, Democracy, and Society / Edition 1

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This book explores the historical and contemporary relationships of Protestant Puritanism to political and social authoritarianism. It focuses on Puritanism’s original, subsequent and modern influences on and legacies in political democracy and civil society within historically Puritan Western societies, with emphasis on Great Britain and particularly America, from the 17th to the 21th century.

The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Authoritarianism: Puritanism, Democracy and Society's importance and novelty lie in its original theoretical argument and empirical demonstration that Puritanism constitutes or reproduces political-social authoritarianism rather than liberal-secular political democracy and free civil society, contrary to the conventional wisdom in Puritan societies, especially America. The book’s methodological approach is thoroughly interdisciplinary by integrating methods, theories and data in sociology with those in other social sciences such as political science, history and economics. In addition, the book uses a comparative-historical method through comparisons of Western (and other) societies at various points of history in terms of the impact of Puritanism on authoritarianism.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780387493206
  • Publisher: Springer New York
  • Publication date: 5/11/2007
  • Edition description: 2007
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 337
  • Product dimensions: 6.62 (w) x 9.47 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

Milan Zafirovski is associate professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of North Texas, USA. He holds doctoral degrees in economics and sociology. His research interests are interdisciplinary focusing on the relations between economy, politics and society. He is the author of three books: Market and Society (2003): The Duality of Structure in Markets (2002), and Exchange, Action and Social Structure (2001), as well as more than 50 articles in refereed economics and sociology journals in America, Europe and elsewhere. He is also a co-editor of the International Encyclopedia of Economic Sociology (2006) as well as an advisory/area editor in the area of Economic Sociology for the Encyclopedia of Sociology (edited by George Ritzer) (forthcoming).

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Table of Contents


CHAPTER 1 PURITANISM AND AUTHORITARIANISM.- Puritanism.- The Spirit of Authoritarianism.- Puritanism and Authoritarianism: Authoritarian Mastery of the Social World.-

CHAPTER 2. PURITANISM AND POLITICAL AUTHORITARIANISM: AUTHORITARIAN MASTERY OF POLITICS.- Puritan Political Authoritarianism: General Considerations.- Political Anti-Liberalism.- Political Extremism.- Anti-Egalitarianism: Inequality as Divinely Ordained Destiny.- Militarism, Nationalism and Expansionism.-

CHAPTER 3. PURITANISM AND SOCIAL AUTHORITARIANISM: AUTHORITARIAN MASTERY OF CIVIL SOCIETY.- Puritan Social Authoritarianism: General Considerations.- Moral Authoritarianism.- Religious Authoritarianism.- Theocracy: The Ideal And System Of Church-State.-

CHAPTER 4. PURITANISM AND SOCIAL AUTHORITARIANISM CONTINUED.- Artistic-Cultural Authoritarianism.- Educational And Scientific Authoritarianism.- Authoritarian Anti-Humanism.-

CHAPTER 5. NEO-PURITANISM AND AUTHORITARIANISM.- From Paleo- to Neo-Puritanism.- Neo-Puritanism and New Puritan Authoritarianism.- Puritanism and Contemporary Authoritarianism.-

CHAPTER 6. AUTHORITARIAN LEGACY OF PURITANISM IN CONTEMPORARY SOCIETY.- General Puritan Authoritarian Legacy: General Considerations.- Rediscovering the Puritan Authoritarian Legacy in American Society.- Elements of the Puritan Authoritarian Legacy.- The Authoritarian Legacy of Puritanism in Global Perspective.- Great Britain versus America.-




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