Weber: Religion, Nation, and Empire


Modern Social Theory - Lecture 5

Lecturer: Prof Gurminder K Bhambra

Nov. 16, 2021


Karl Emil Maximilian Weber was born in 1864 in Thuringia into an upper middle-class family. He was born seven years before the unification of Germany, lived through the German Empire (1871-1918), and died in 1920 just as the Weimar Republic was being established. Empire was the context of his intellectual and scholarly career and yet rarely figures explicitly in discussions of his work. Two of his most important essays on The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism were preceded by writings on the history of economic organisations and treatments of contemporary problems of agriculture and industry in Germany. This period also included his first major essay in methodology, ‘“Objectivity” in Social Science and Social Policy’ (1949 [1904]), setting out the theory of ideal types.

Reading

  • Abraham, Gary A. 1992. Max Weber and the Jewish Question. Chicago: University of Illinois Press.
  • Bhambra, Gurminder K. and John Holmwood 2021. ‘Weber: Religion, Nation, and Empire’ in Colonialism and Modern Social Theory. Cambridge: Polity.
  • Lebovics, Herman 1986. ‘The Uses of America in Locke's Second Treatise of Government,’ Journal of the History of Ideas 47 (4): 567-581.
  • Weber, Max 1930 [1904/5]. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Translated by Talcott Parsons. London: Allen and Unwin.
  • Weber, Max 1949 [1904]. ‘“Objectivity” in Social Science and Social Policy” in The Methodology of the Social Sciences. Translated by E. A. Shils and H. A. Finch. New York: Free Press.
  • Weber, Max 1980 [1895]. ‘The National State and Economic Policy, Freiburg address,’ Translated by Ben Fowkes. Economy and Society 9 (4): 428-449.
  • Zimmerman, Andrew 2006. ‘Decolonizing Weber,’ Postcolonial Studies 9 (1): 53-79.

Karl Emil Maximilian Weber was born in 1864 in Thuringia into an upper middle-class family. He was born seven years before the unification of Germany, lived through the German Empire (1871-1918), and died in 1920 just as the Weimar Republic was being established.

Empire was the context of his intellectual and scholarly career and yet rarely figures explicitly in discussions of his work. Two of his most important essays on The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism were preceded by writings on the history of economic organisations and treatments of contemporary problems of agriculture and industry in Germany.

This period also included his first major essay in methodology, ‘“Objectivity” in Social Science and Social Policy’ (1949 [1904]), setting out the theory of ideal types.

Reading

  • Abraham, Gary A. 1992. Max Weber and the Jewish Question. Chicago: University of Illinois Press.
  • Bhambra, Gurminder K. and John Holmwood 2021. ‘Weber: Religion, Nation, and Empire’ in Colonialism and Modern Social Theory. Cambridge: Polity.
  • Lebovics, Herman 1986. ‘The Uses of America in Locke's Second Treatise of Government,’ Journal of the History of Ideas 47 (4): 567-581.
  • Weber, Max 1930 [1904/5]. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Translated by Talcott Parsons. London: Allen and Unwin.
  • Weber, Max 1949 [1904]. ‘“Objectivity” in Social Science and Social Policy” in The Methodology of the Social Sciences. Translated by E. A. Shils and H. A. Finch. New York: Free Press.
  • Weber, Max 1980 [1895]. ‘The National State and Economic Policy, Freiburg address,’ Translated by Ben Fowkes. Economy and Society 9 (4): 428-449.
  • Zimmerman, Andrew 2006. ‘Decolonizing Weber,’ Postcolonial Studies 9 (1): 53-79.