The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism with Other Writings on the Rise of the West / Edition 4

Paperback (Print)
Rent from
(Save 79%)
Est. Return Date: 10/19/2014
Buy Used
Buy Used from
(Save 33%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $7.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 82%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (21) from $7.99   
  • New (4) from $16.38   
  • Used (17) from $7.99   


For more than 100 years, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism has set the parameters for the debate over the origins of modern capitalism. Now more timely and thought-provoking than ever, this esteemed classic of twentieth-century social science examines the deep cultural "frame of mind" that influences work life to this day in northern America and Western Europe. Stephen Kalberg's internationally acclaimed translation captures the essence of Weber's style as well as the subtlety of his descriptions and causal arguments.

Now, for the first time in one volume, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism with Other Writings on the Rise of the West integrates Weber's exploration of the spirit of capitalism's origins with his larger project: a multi-causal analysis of the West's distinctiveness and its sources. Weber's texts present wide-ranging discussions on the Western city, state, forms of rulership and law, and modes of economic innovation. Moreover, in many selections Weber offers in-depth and insightful comparisons to China and India. Readings on the "economic ethics" of Confucianism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Catholicism further illuminate the distinct qualities of the West's trajectory and its diverse causes. A separate section examines the long-range influence of the ascetic Protestant sects and churches on American society.

To draw readers into the material, this engaging volume includes extended introductions by the editor, many new translations, a chronology of Weber's life, an expanded glossary and bibliography, and numerous clarifying endnotes. In addition, Kalberg addresses a variety of debates concerning the central elements of contemporary life. Ideal for courses in sociology, anthropology, political science, history, international relations, and economics, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism with Other Writings on the Rise of the West is an essential resource for anyone seeking to understand the origins and endurance of the modern West.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195332537
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 9/4/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 608
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen Kalberg is Associate Professor of Sociology at Boston University and an affiliate of the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies at Harvard University. He is the editor of Max Weber: Readings and Commentary on Modernity (2005) and author of Max Weber's Comparative-Historical Sociology (1994). He teaches courses in sociological theory and comparative political cultures.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

General Introduction: Max Weber and the Modern West     vii
The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism     1
Introduction to the Translation   Stephen Kalberg     3
Introduction to The Protestant Ethic   Stephen Kalberg     7
Endnotes     49
References     54
The Problem
Religious Affiliation and Social Stratification     61
The Spirit of Capitalism     69
Luther's Conception of the Calling     89
The Task of the Investigation     95
The Vocational Ethic of Ascetic Protestantism
The Religious Foundations of This-Worldly Asceticism     101
Calvinism     103
Pietism     123
Methodism     130
The Baptizing Sects and Churches     133
Asceticism and the Spirit of Capitalism     141
The Protestant Sects in America and the Uniqueness of Western Rationalism     161
Introduction   Stephen Kalberg     163
The Protestant Sects and the Spirit of Capitalism     185
"Churches" and "Sects" in North America: An Ecclesiastical Sociopolitical Sketch     200
Prefatory Remarks to Collected Essays in the Sociology of Religion (1920)     205
Demarcating the Uniquenessof the West Through Comparisons: Magic and the Economic Ethics of the World Religions     221
Introduction   Stephen Kalberg     223
Main Concepts: Economic Ethics, Social Carriers, Sacred Law, and the Ethic of Conviction     238
India: Hinduism and Buddhism     257
China: Confucianism     268
Confucianism and Puritanism     275
Judaism     290
The Middle East: Islam     300
The West: Ancient Christianity and Catholicism     304
The Rise of Modern Capitalism: The Western Rationalism and Modern Western Rationalism Deep Contexts     311
Introduction   Stephen Kalberg     313
Comparative Cases: China and India     349
The Ancient and Medieval Cities in the West: Fraternization, Incorporation, and the Dissolution of Clan Ties     370
The Putting-Out System, Modes of Financing, Mercantilism, and the Factory     377
The Definition of Modern Capitalism, and the Relationship of Feudalism and Patrimonialism to Capitalism     392
The West's Cross-State Competition versus Hierocracy and Caesaropapism     397
Juridical Formalism and the Rational State     400
Ethos and Education under Feudalism and Patrimonialism, Clerical Education, and the Puritans' Mass Intellectualism      407
The Sect, Democracy, Tolerance, Freedom of Conscience, and a Cosmos of Abstract Norms     413
Bureaucratization, Democracy, and Modern Capitalism     416
The Impersonality of the Market and Discipline in the Modern Capitalist Factory     426
Weber's Summary Statements on "The Protestant Ethic Thesis"     431
The Development of the Capitalist Frame of Mind (1919-1920)     431
A Final Rebuttal to a Critic of "Spirit of Capitalism" (1910)     435
Reading The Protestant Ethic: The Text and the Endnotes     449
Suggested Further Reading     455
The Protestant Ethic Thesis and the Protestant Ethic Debate     455
Max Weber: Life and Work     456
Notes for The Protestant Ethic     458
Literature Cited     553
Writings of Max Weber     553
Secondary Literature Cited     554
Acknowledgments     556
A Chronology of Max Weber's Life     557
Glossary     560
Name Index     571
Subject Index     575
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)