Publication Date


Document Type

Working Paper


Professor John Hall

Journal of Economic Literature Classification Codes

N11, N113, Z12

Key Words

Asceticism, Calvinism, Lutheranism, Reformed, Spirit of Capitalism


This inquiry seeks to establish that early sociologist Max Weber advances a view that religious faith could indeed affect economic outcomes. In his analysis of Reformed faiths, Weber determines that “the calling” inspired by Martin Luther transformed the work ethic of believers, instilling in them a spirit suitable for the advancement of modern capitalism. The Reformed work ethic observed by Weber served as a basis for individual Protestants to accumulate wealth. Weber also considers the developments of religious asceticism among the faiths of Calvinism, Pietism, Methodism, and the Baptist movements. The ascetic character of these religious communities assisted in generating savings for individuals adhering to Reformed faiths. In addition, Weber examines how these two variables work together to generate positive economic outcomes for those adhering to Reformed faiths.


© 2022 Celeste Aiu Taber

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