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The Protestant Ethic & The Spirit of Capital in the 21st Century

For this month, we will be combining two books:

Max Weber's The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism and Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century. 

One of the greatest threats to democracy and our society in general is the ever-widening gap of wealth and income. Scholars of Secularization Theory (e.g., Norris & Inglehart) proffer that increased religiosity is less a matter of deliberative choice (as the Four Horsemen would argue), but a matter of exogenous shocks against human existential security (e.g., economic crises, war, etc). Essentially its not that religion is a bad choice or a mental disease, but a place of stability that you run to when the shit hits the fan. 

To examine this issue, this month we are going to be reading two books, one established classic and one heralded as a future classic (feel free to read the Norris & Inglehart as a supplemental). 

Max Weber (1905) examines the cultural roots of placing a high moral value upon acquisition, and Piketty (2014) looks at the side effects of this process. 

The material will be presented, but if you have the time please read the works. 

Join us on Thursday, June 12th (7 p.m.) at Panera Bread in HIllcrest (and please park in the underground parking level). 

Norris & Inglehart:



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  • Jason F.

    Unfortunately, I won't be there tonight. It is a great book. Enjoy the discussion.

    June 12, 2014

  • Jason F.

    Well, we don't use powerpoint at Panera. The major premise of this is to talk about Piketty and I want to use Weber, and to a lesser extent Norris & Inglehart to chat about it's relation to religiosity and human well being.

    June 1, 2014

  • Janice

    I'm hoping we can discuss the books rather than read power points about them. Suggestion: Why don't we read these 2 books over the summer (June, July, & August) and read one-third of each book for each session? What do you think?

    May 31, 2014

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