Weber: Religion, Nation and Empire

Farris, Sara R.. 2022. Weber: Religion, Nation and Empire. Journal of Classical Sociology, 22(4), pp. 410-415. ISSN 1468-795X [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Colonialism figures in the work of Max Weber in multiple forms. While in his professorial address he supported internal colonialism as the antidote against the threat represented by the immigration of foreigners, in the writings on world religions colonialism appears as displacement, amnesia and Freudian slip. Colonial subjects in particular are portrayed as personalities unable to develop the mentality that would help them to free themselves from what Weber regarded as the chains of a communitarian, gregarious and subaltern life. In the end, I argue that Weber’s work contributed, albeit contradictorily and not always explicitly, to spread an idea of colonial violence as a force of progress and a racist idea of colonial others as backward.

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Colonialism, empire, Max Weber, nationalism, Orientalism, social theory

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13 February 2022Accepted
23 June 2022Published Online
November 2022Published

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Date Deposited:

09 Dec 2022 17:08

Last Modified:

09 Dec 2022 17:09

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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