Religion as the Source of the Self. Max Weber’s Hypothesis

Farris, Sara R.. 2012. Religion as the Source of the Self. Max Weber’s Hypothesis. Social Compass, 59(1), pp. 34-51. ISSN 0037-7686 [Article]

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Amidst the recent resurgence of interest in religion as one of the main ‘sources of the self’, Max Weber’s argument in the Gesammelte Aufsätze zur Religionssoziologie can make an important contribution. The importance of individuation1 to the rise of capitalism in Weber’s account has usually been related to the process of autonomisation of the individual from the ‘community of blood’ that took place in the Jewish-Christian tradition in the West. The author argues that Weber in fact proposed a much more sophisticated reconstruction of the processes of individuation than is commonly supposed. By means of a comparative reconstruction of the relation between religion, individual and society in several cultural contexts, Weber proposed a complex analysis of different processes of individuation, in which the notion of ‘personality’ plays a crucial role.

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historical sociology individuation Max Weber subjectivity world religions

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March 2012Published

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21 Jan 2015 11:52

Last Modified:

04 Jul 2017 15:48

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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