Weber's The Protestant Ethic

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Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss Max Weber's book the Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Published in 1905, Weber's essay proposed that Protestantism had been a significant factor in the emergence of capitalism, making an explicit connection between religious ideas and economic systems. Weber suggested that Calvinism, with its emphasis on personal asceticism and the merits of hard work, had created an ethic which had enabled the success of capitalism in Protestant countries. Weber's essay has come in for some criticism since he published the work, but is still seen as one of the seminal texts of twentieth-century sociology.


Peter Ghosh
Fellow in History at St Anne's College, Oxford

Sam Whimster
Honorary Professor in Sociology at the University of New South Wales

Linda Woodhead
Professor of Sociology of Religion at Lancaster University.

Producer: Thomas Morris.

Available now

43 minutes

Last on

Thu 27 Mar 2014 21:30


Peter Ghosh at the University of Oxford


Sam Whimster at the Global Policy Institute


Linda Woodhead at Lancaster University


Max Weber Studies


The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism - Wikipedia





Daniel Bell, Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism (1st edition 1976; Basic Books, 1996)


Reinhard Bendix, Max Weber: An Intellectual Portrait (University of California Press, 1992)


Peter Ghosh, A Historian Reads Max Weber: Essays on the Protestant Ethic (Harrassowitz Verlag, 2008)


Joachim Radkau, Max Weber: A Biography (Polity Press, 2011)


Lawrence A. Scaff, Max Weber in America (Princeton University Press, 2011)


R. H. Tawney, Religion and the Rise of Capitalism (1st edition 1926; Hesperides Press, 2006)


Marianne Weber (trans. Harry Zohn), Max Weber: A Biography (1st edition 1926; Transaction Publishers, 2006)


Max Weber, (trans. Talcott Parsons), The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1st edition 1930; Routledge, 2001)


Max Weber, From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology (Routledge, 2009)


Sam Whimster, Understanding Weber (Routledge, 2007)


Sam Whimster (ed.), Essential Weber: A Reader (Routledge, 2003)



Role Contributor
PresenterMelvyn Bragg
ProducerThomas Morris
Interviewed GuestPeter Ghosh
Interviewed GuestSam Whimster
Interviewed GuestLinda Woodhead

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