Existentialist Reformtation

George Pennefather poseidon at SPAMeircom.net
Sat Dec 25 01:29:04 MST 1999



James: That was certainly Max Weber's thesis in his *Protestant Ethic
and the Spirit of Capitalism*.  For Weber it was precisely this
anxiety that he believed drove Calvinists and other Protestants
into becoming accumulators of capital.  Although Calvin had taught
that there were no signs available to us in this life that could assure
us whether we are part of the Elect or not, believers would nevertheless
still strive to find such signs and in Weber's view the ones they
hit upon were those of material success achieved through hard work
and ascetic self-denial.  Thus Puritanism was seen by Weber as a
means for coping with this anxiety.

George: Some of your comments in this posting of yours were quite interesting. If
there is
an intellectual connection between the European Reformation and post-war existentialism
perhaps we can sus out the conditions that led to such a convergence of conceptions in
two
very different periods.

Any suggetions!

Warm regards
George Pennefather

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