Religion and capitalism: Weber, Marx and the materialist controversy

Philosophy and Social Criticism 34 (4):427-448 (2008)
The main concern of this article is Weber's antagonism with respect to materialism and the distance or affinity between Marx's and Weber's standpoints. It focuses on two interconnected issues: the social and political role of religion and the emergence of modern capitalism. These two points are justified because of their strategic importance and because, with them, Weber's distance with respect to materialism apparently reaches its zenith. Through them, this text attempts to expose the main features of the controversy between Marxism and Weberianism, evaluating the alternatives on the matter offered by different perspectives. Key Words: capitalism • Karl Marx • materialism • Protestant ethic • rationalism • religion • Max Weber.
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