The Integrated Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Environmentalism

Front Cover
Universal-Publishers, 1999 - 534 pages

The theory and data of environmental science suggest that growth in rates of population, consumption and environmental degradation, as a result of the activities of industrialized societies, has created an ecological crisis to which modern societies must adapt. However, adaptation is problematic.

Max Weber studied adaptive social change during the industrial revolution. The evolution of this new way of life was initially problematic because individuals who established industrialism were socialized under feudalism. In this dissertation, I consider The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism as a theoretical treatise framed by modern human ecology in order to study social change in the context of the ecological crisis of industrialism.

The Protestant Ethic is known for describing how religious ideas influenced the unfolding of modern capitalism in the West. However, there is nothing inherent in Protestantism that requires linkage to industrialism. I argue that Protestantism has evolved, and that it need not necessarily promote environmental exploitation, although under industrialism it has. I identify a "green" subculture within Protestantism, and consider how Protestantism's weakness may also be its strength. The very sociological structure that, in the absence of ecologically realistic norms, permits widespread ecosystem degradation by industrial capitalism may also generate ecologically realistic norms for a natural capitalism.

Weber contended that rationality was problematic because it paradoxically results in a dual crisis of management and meaning where human agency becomes "imprisoned" as if in an "iron cage." The irrational continuation of environmentally degrading social practices eventually contributes to a legitimation crisis. People turn to religion as an alternative authority. If science and religion converge on environmental values, they might catalyze social change, unless they are too distorted by ideological bias. Adaptive social change only occurs if ethical and ecological values are in accordance with the sustainability of ecosystems. Hence, to adapt to the ecological crisis, sociocultural systems require socialization into ecological realism, because ecologically rational societies may still be maladaptively organized around environmentally unsustainable trajectories.

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Contents

VII
17
VIII
28
X
32
XI
38
XII
41
XIII
46
XIV
48
XV
49
LXXXIII
247
LXXXV
248
LXXXVI
252
LXXXVII
253
LXXXVIII
254
LXXXIX
257
XC
262
XCI
264

XVI
53
XVII
56
XVIII
58
XIX
62
XX
66
XXI
70
XXII
72
XXIII
74
XXIV
77
XXV
81
XXVI
84
XXVII
86
XXVIII
87
XXIX
88
XXX
94
XXXI
95
XXXII
97
XXXIII
99
XXXIV
103
XXXV
104
XXXVI
107
XXXVII
109
XXXVIII
115
XXXIX
120
XL
126
XLI
128
XLII
129
XLIII
132
XLIV
135
XLV
141
XLVI
143
XLVII
149
XLVIII
153
XLIX
155
L
156
LI
158
LII
159
LIII
160
LIV
161
LV
163
LVI
166
LVII
168
LVIII
172
LIX
173
LX
174
LXI
176
LXII
178
LXIII
181
LXIV
184
LXV
187
LXVI
190
LXVII
198
LXVIII
202
LXIX
210
LXX
211
LXXI
212
LXXII
214
LXXIII
216
LXXIV
218
LXXV
220
LXXVI
222
LXXVII
223
LXXVIII
224
LXXIX
227
LXXX
234
LXXXI
236
LXXXII
237
XCII
268
XCIII
270
XCIV
271
XCV
275
XCVI
276
XCVII
279
XCVIII
282
XCIX
283
C
287
CI
290
CII
292
CIII
293
CIV
297
CV
298
CVI
299
CVII
301
CVIII
302
CIX
304
CXI
306
CXIII
308
CXIV
313
CXV
315
CXVI
319
CXVII
332
CXVIII
333
CXIX
338
CXX
341
CXXI
352
CXXII
356
CXXIII
358
CXXIV
363
CXXV
364
CXXVI
368
CXXVII
372
CXXVIII
375
CXXIX
377
CXXX
378
CXXXI
380
CXXXII
382
CXXXIII
383
CXXXIV
388
CXXXV
391
CXXXVI
393
CXXXVII
396
CXXXVIII
398
CXXXIX
399
CXL
402
CXLI
403
CXLII
405
CXLIII
406
CXLIV
408
CXLVI
415
CXLVII
417
CXLVIII
419
CXLIX
420
CL
423
CLI
500
CLII
501
CLIV
502
CLV
504
CLVI
507
CLVII
510
CLVIII
522
CLIX
523
CLX
524
CLXI
528

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 186 - Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground...
Page 247 - Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
Page 122 - Man is dominated by the making of money, by acquisition as the ultimate purpose of his life. Economic acquisition is no longer subordinated to man as the means for the satisfaction of his material needs.
Page 123 - In its extreme inhumanity this doctrine must above all have had one consequence for the life of a generation which surrendered to its magnificent consistency. That was a feeling of unprecedented inner loneliness of the single individual.
Page 165 - For then science encounters the claims of the ethical postulate that the world is a God-ordained, and hence somehow meaningfully and ethically oriented, cosmos. In principle, the empirical as well as the mathematically oriented view of the world develops refutations of every intellectual approach which in any way asks for a 'meaning' of inner-worldly occurrences.
Page 150 - This order is now bound to the technical and economic conditions of machine production which today determine the lives of all the individuals who are born into this mechanism, not only those directly concerned with economic acquisition, with irresistible force.
Page 247 - This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
Page 247 - Dear friends, since God so loved us. we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another* God lives in us and his love is made complete in us...
Page 150 - But fate decreed that the cloak should become an iron cage.

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