Religion and the Rise of Capitalism / Edition 1

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Overview

In one of the truly great classics of twentieth-century political economy, R. H. Tawney addresses the question of how religion has affected social and economic practices. He does this by a relentless tracking of the influence of religious thought on capitalist economy and ideology since the Middle Ages. In so doing he sheds light on why Christianity continues to exert a unique role in the marketplace. In so doing, the book offers an incisive analysis of the historical background of present morals and mores in Western culture.

Religion and the Rise of Capitalism is even more pertinent now than when it first was published; for today it is clearer that the dividing line between spheres of religion and secular business is shifting, that economic interests and ethical considerations are no longer safely locked in separate compartments.

By examining that period which saw the transition from medieval to modern theories of social organization, Tawney clarifies the most pressing problems of the end of the century. In tough, muscular, richly varied prose, he tells an absorbing and meaningful story. And in his new introduction, which may well be a classic in its own right, Adam Seligman details Tawney's entire background, the current status of social science thought on these large issues, and a comparative analysis of Tawney with Max Weber that will at once delight and inform readers of all kinds.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Religion and the Rise of Capitalism shows us the historical process by which we have gradually reached our modern economic age."

– Christian Science Monitor

"A delightful piece of literature, as well as an authentic and scholarly treatise."

– Atlantic Monthly

Booknews
Discusses the influence of religious thought on capitalist economy and ideology since the Middle Ages. The author argues that "the medieval conception of the social order, which had regarded it as a highly articulated organism of members contributing in their different ways to a spiritual purpose was shattered" in favor of a "creed of the individual" as "master of his own, with no obligation to postpone his own profit to the well-being of his neighbors." Originally published in 1926 by Harcourt Brace and Co. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765804556
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/1/1998
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 337
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Meet the Author

R. H. Tawney, the renowned English economist, was born in India in 1880. He studied at Balliol College, Oxford, taught at the universities of Glasgow and Oxford, and was professor of economic history at the University of London. In addition to his many writings, Tawney was active in the British Labour Party for over fifty years. He served on many public bodies and as economic advisor to the British government.

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Table of Contents

Introduction to the Transaction Edition
Introduction
I The Medieval Background 1
The Social Organism 14
The Sin of Avarice 36
The Ideal and the Reality 55
II The Continental Reformers 63
The Economic Revolution 66
Luther 79
Calvin 102
III The Church of England 133
The Land Question 137
Religious Theory and Social Policy 150
The Growth of Individualism 175
IV The Puritan Movement 195
Puritanism and Society 198
A Godly Discipline versus the Religion of Trade 211
The Triumph of the Economic Virtues 227
The New Medicine for Poverty 253
V Conclusion 275
Notes 289
Index 327
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