Re: Protestants, hell and profession

That's not exactly how Weber would see it. Predestination makes in
itself no social statement. But this very uncertainty, in Weber's work,
led the Protestant to throw himself into his work for comfort. God's
very arbitrariness, and the inability to predict one's success in the
hereafter, in effect left the world the only open place in which to seek
happiness. And happiness could be found in a craft or profession in the
good old days, says Weber, in sharp counterpoint to modern man, who
retains the drive to work but derives no spiritual comfort from it:
"Specialists without spirit, sensualists without heart," etc. Whereas
the accumulation of material possessions was part of capitalism in the
17th and 18th centuries (capitalism as a system which relied on this
sense of spiritual uncertainty to check pure acquisitiveness) in the
present day it is simply force of habit--habit, he might add, which has
institutionalized itself, with a counterpart in the bureaucracy. Where
Protestantism as a cultural phenomenon is to Weber responsible (because
of the individual productivity of its members) for the present-day (c.
1905) social stratification between Protestants and Catholics, he admits
of no linkage between God's will in Calvinism and this stratification.
(Though, perhaps, in some late generation of Calvinism people looked
around and justified their continued success with some bastarized
theology legitimizing their own status. But Weber is relatively mute on
this point.)

>From: "Anaspinoza" <anaspinoza@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>Reply-To: foucault@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>To: <foucault@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>Subject: Protestants, hell and profession
>Date: Thu, 18 Mar 1999 20:29:53 -0300
>Thanks again Henry and John for your answers,
>Regarded to the analysis of Max Weber, do you think that the
>idea of vocation (profession) can be interpreted in calvinist doctrin
as a
>predestination to heaven or to hell (symbolic or economical success) in
>work we are called to develop? If some are predestinated to develop
>works (let´s say: to write), and some are predestinated to wash water
>closets, God would legitimate division of work. God then would be very
>to Adam Smith? In both cases rationality is predetermined.

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