Religion: Protestantism & Capitalism

"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth," said Jesus, "for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." Yet it is a widely argued thesis that Protestantism is a pillar of the profit system, and that piety and "treasures upon earth" can live comfortably together.

German Economist Max Weber broached the theory in 1905 with The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Calvinism and the Protestant sects, he maintained, lacking the absolution of sins provided by the Roman Catholic Church, depend upon outward and visible signs of salvation: diligence, sobriety...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!