Issue editor's preface
Journal of Classical Sociology
This issue of JCS marks the centenary of one of the most debated works of social science: Max Weber’s The Protestant Ethic and the ‘Spirit’ of Capitalism. Originally published in 1905, as a two-part essay, it was reworked in the summer of 1919 and subtly reshaped to fit Weber’s research programme for the sociology of the world religions.1 Probing, passionate, inspired, opinionated, remorseless – the qualities of the essay strikingly parallel the early Protestants who Weber wrote about. His sympathy for them as inner-directed rebels against tradition is palpable. Tormented by inner demons of his own, the writer of The Protestant Ethic saw nothing incongruous about a religious ethos that made forceful spiritual demands on the believer – or one, indeed, that came to suggest that the purpose of life was to be tested rather than consoled.
Copyright © The Author(s) 2005
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Baehr, P. (2005). Issue editor's preface. Journal of Classical Sociology, 5(1), 5-9. doi: 10.1177/1468795X05050035