We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more

E-book purchase
Choose a subscription

Downloaded copy on your device does not expire. Includes 4 years of Bookshelf Online.


Where applicable, tax will be added to the above price prior to payment.

E-book purchasing help


The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism

Max Weber and Translated with Commentary by Stephen Kalberg

Publication Date - July 2010

ISBN: 9780199747252

448 pages
5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

In Stock

The most accurate and reader-friendly translation of The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, by renowned Weber scholar Stephen Kalberg


For more than 100 years, Max Weber's The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism has set the parameters for the debate over the origins of modern capitalism. Now more timely and thought provoking than ever, this esteemed classic of twentieth-century social science examines the deep cultural "frame of mind" that existed at the birth of modern capitalism and to this day influences attitudes toward work in northern America and Western Europe.

In this volume, Stephen Kalberg revises his internationally acclaimed translation--using shorter sentences and more lucid language--to make the work even more accessible to students and other readers. Capturing the essence of Weber's style as well as the subtlety of his descriptions and causal arguments, this is the only translation of the revised 1920 edition of The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism published since 1930.

To draw readers into the material, this engaging volume includes extensive introductions by the editor, a chronology of Weber's life, a glossary, and numerous clarifying endnotes. Detailed commentaries discuss the controversies Weber addressed, explain his complex causal argument by reference to the general contours of his sociology, summarize the history of "the Protestant Ethic debate," and examine the significance of "the Protestant Sects" essays.

Ideal for courses in sociology, anthropology, political science, history, international relations, economics, and cultural studies, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism is an essential resource for anyone seeking to understand the origins and endurance of the modern West.

New to this Edition

  • A revised translation that improves on what was already the best translation on the market.

About the Author(s)

Stephen Kalberg is Associate Professor of Sociology at Boston University and an affiliate of the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies at Harvard University.


"Sociologists interested in Max Weber can count themselves fortunate these days with the recent appearance of the second revised edition of Stephen Kalberg's new translation of Weber's work, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. . . . Those teaching upper division undergraduate and graduate courses in social theory or the sociology of religion will find this volume an ideal introduction to Weber's work and to the continuing controversies surrounding his famous thesis. At $14.95 in paper-bound edition, it is more than worth the price."-- Donald A. Nielsen, State University of New York Oneota

Table of Contents

    Introduction to the Translation, Stephen Kalberg
    Introduction to The Protestant Ethic, Stephen Kalberg
    Part I. The Problem
    Chapter I. Religious Affiliation and Social Stratification
    Chapter II. The "Spirit" of Capitalism
    Chapter III. Luther's Conception of the Calling
    The Task of the Investigation
    Part II. The Vocational Ethic of Ascetic Protestantism
    Chapter IV. The Religious Foundations of This-Worldly Asceticism
    A. Calvinism
    B. Pietism
    C. Methodism
    D. The Baptizing Sects and Churches
    Chapter V. Asceticism and the Spirit of Capitalism
    Introduction, Stephen Kalberg
    I. The Protestant Sects and the Spirit of Capitalism
    II. "Churches" and "Sects" in North America: An Ecclesiastical Sociopolitical Approach
    III. Prefatory Remarks to Collected Essays in the Sociology of Religion (1920)
    Appendix I. Weber's Summary Statements on "The Protestant Ethic Thesis"
    A. The Development of the Capitalist Frame of Mind (1919-1920)
    B. A Final Rebuttal to a Critic of "Spirit of Capitalism"
    Appendix II. Reading The Protestant Ethic: The Text and the Endnotes
    Appendix III. Suggested Further Reading
    A. The Protestant Ethic Thesis and the Protestant Ethic Debate
    B. Max Weber: Life and Work
    Notes for The Protestant Ethic
    Literature Cited
    A. Writings of Max Weber
    B. Secondary Literature Cited
    A Chronology of Max Weber's Life
    Name Index
    Subject Index