Essays on the contradictory resurgence of religion and liberalism in the twenty-first century by one of the most important voices in the study of the sociology of religion
The Protestant Ethic Revisited
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Philip S. Gorski
In The Protestant Ethic Revisited, the historical sociologist Philip Gorski returns to the overarching theme that animated Max Weber's life work—namely, how the Christian West was reshaped by world-changing energies of the Calvinist movement. Gorski not only considers the perennial debate about religion and capitalism; he also devotes particular attention to the influence of Calvinism on the political development of the West—that is, the formation of strong states, the crystallization of national identities, the ignition of revolutions, and the advent of secularized politics.
The Protestant Ethic Revisited is a masterful new collection of Gorski's essays on religion and comparative historical sociology that includes both classic works and previously unpublished materials. Reflecting the aim of much of Gorski's work, this anthology reveals what we think of as fixed ideas about nationalism, secularism, politics, and religion in public life as either older-or less stable-concepts than previously thought.
"An excellent set of essays, among which some are veritable classics. Gorski has established himself as one of the leading sociologists of his generation, and his essays in the sociology of religion have contributed greatly to his high international reputation. He has developed a wide-ranging comparative approach to religious sociology, not to mention some much-needed analytic sophistication, and has helped to reintegrate the area with already vibrant subfields such as historical and comparative sociology, political sociology, and sociological theory. The essays in The Protestant Ethic Revisited are important milestones in the recent transformation of the field. Gorski's work is no flash in the pan. It is enduringly valuable scholarship."
"[R]eligion, and especially ascetic Protestantism, was a very real difference maker in early modern European society. While most historians of the period need no persuading on this score, Gorski's book would be instructive to, for example, certain camps of sociologists that have overlooked religion in their calculations....The introduction [is] stimulating.'"
Part I: Religion and Politics in Early Modern Europe
Part II: The Secularization Debate
Conclusion: The Protestant Ethic and the Secular Modern
Philip S. Gorski is Professor of Sociology and Religious Studies at Yale University, where he codirects the European and Russian Studies Program, the Center for Comparative Research, and the MacMillan Center Initiative on Religion, Politics, and Society. He is the author of The Disciplinary Revolution: Calvinism and the Rise of the State in Early Modern Europe.
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