Did protestantism form our well-off societies? – Københavns Universitet

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27. april 2017

Did protestantism form our well-off societies?

500 years ago, Martin Luther proposed an academic discussion of the practice and efficacy of indulgences in his Ninety-five Theses of 1517. The theses launched the reformation of the Catholic Church, leading to the founding of Protestantism.

400 years later, Max Weber wrote 'The Protestant Ethics and the Spirit of Capitalism'. In his work Weber put forward the thesis that Calvinist ethic and ideas influenced the development of capitalism. He noted that societies having more Protestants were those with a more highly developed capitalist economy – seeking to demonstrate the connection between a protestant plot and the necessary accumulation of capital up to the implementation of capitalism.

Was Max Weber right when he wrote that the Reformation and Protestantism formed the basis for an ethic creating capitalism and our well-off Protestant societies?

Lecturer Jeanet Bentzen is invited in to participate in a debate on the subject at DR2 Deadline, April 25th. You can see the debate 13:54 minutes into the programme here.