Max Weber on the Role of Protestantism in the Formation of Civil Political Culture in the United States


Schwinn T.

Dr. Sci. (Soc.), Prof., Director of the Max-Weber-Institute of Sociology, University Heidelberg Thomas.schwinn@soziologie.uni-heidelberg.de

DOI: 10.31857/S013216250009648-5
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For citation:

Schwinn T. Max Weber on the Role of Protestantism in the Formation of Civil Political Culture in the United States. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2020. No 6. P. 42-50



Abstract

In “Protestant sects and the spirit of capitalism” (1906), Max Weber described Puritan immigrant communities as one of the origins of the American culture of social, business, and political relations. In the United States there was no state Church and there was no monopoly in the spiritual field, and the person’s belonging to the Protestant sect acted as a guarantee of moral and business integrity. The religious ideas of immigrants from Europe about their mission in building the Kingdom of God in the territories of the North American States were transformed into the ideology of integration of the new nation. The ascetic economic ethics of Puritanism and the individualistic, anti-authoritarian and democratic character of Protestant communities were transmitted to the political institutions of the United States, which favored the establishment of democracy and federalism in American society.


Keywords
political sociology of M. Weber; religion and politics; USA and modernization; multiple modernities; protestant sects; puritanism; federalism

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Content No 6, 2020