An Essay on the Economic Effects of the Reformation

Ihs Press | 2003-04-01 | ISBN: 0971828628 | 176 pages | PDF | 2,9 MB


This work offers a unique perspective on the rise of capitalism and socialism and the effect of the Reformation. Specific topics include consequences of belief in the private judgment of scriptures; separation of spiritual and secular life; difference between Lutheran and Calvinist teachings on economics; the Calvinist concept of vocation; its perception of material success as a sign of divine election; its praise of frugality and disdain for beauty. Also covered is socialism as a reaction to excesses of capitalism; the manner in which Protestantism had strengthened secular authority; diminuation of charity toward the poor following Reformation; materialism underlying socialism abetted by Protestant emphasis on earthly prosperity; egalitarian ideas traceable to Protestantism; and the ease with which socialism blended into Protestant thought. This is a unique work of economic philosophy in that it examines the ideological causes of the economic changes of the period, thus offering a refreshing philosophical perspective rather than merely the mathematical or statistical sides of the question.


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