Collected Essays in the Sociology of Religion - …
Weber is the first scholar to conceptualize that sociology is not a prescriptive discipline rather it is a descriptive and interpretative discipline. A sociologist necessarily pursues a vocation he should not be guiding either social rebellion nor should operate as the high-priest of the society. Rather the concern of the sociologist is to conduct and guide research in order to study the essence of the reality in a value-neutral and rational manner.
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On a more analytical plateau, all these disparate processes ofrationalization can be surmised as increasing knowledge, growingimpersonality, and enhanced control [Brubaker 1991, 32–35].First, knowledge. Rational action in one very general sensepresupposes knowledge. It requires some knowledge of the ideationaland material circumstances in which our action is embedded, since toact rationally is to act on the basis of conscious reflection aboutthe probable consequences of action. As such, the knowledge thatunderpins a rational action is of a causal nature conceived in termsof means-ends relationships, aspiring towards a systematic, logicallyinterconnected whole. Modern scientific and technological knowledge isa culmination of this process that Weber called intellectualization,in the course of which, the germinating grounds of human knowledge inthe past, such as religion, theology, and metaphysics, were slowlypushed back to the realm of the superstitious, mystical, or simplyirrational. It is only in modern Western civilization, according toWeber, that this gradual process of disenchantment(Entzauberung) has reached its radical conclusion.
Weberian modes of thinking emerged gradually in the twentieth century. Max Weber did not found a school of thought. The posthumous collection of his main work provided a starting point for renewed interest in his ideas. Beginning in the 1920s American scholars discovered Weber’s work for reasons of their own, supplemented later by a generation of German-speaking émigrés. The institutionalization of Weberian analysis was a postwar phenomenon, encouraged by professional needs and controversies in the sciences. Today a Weberian paradigm has emerged as one of the principal ways of thinking about society and human affairs.
Essay on Weber’s Theory of Religion or Sociology of Religion
But he also contributed fundamental works to the sociology of law (which he virtually invented), the sociology of music (also a first), the sociology of the economy, the philosophy of social science method, the comparative sociology of religion (also his creation), social stratification, the sociology of bureaucracy and of power and “charisma” (his term), and so on.The following is a chronology of Weber’s major works: , 1889, age 25 (120 pages); , 1891, age 27 (280 pages); , 1892, age 28 (900 pages); , 1894–1895, age 30 (329 pages); , 1897, age 33 (400 pages); , 1905, age 41 (250 pages); , 1903–1906 (300 pages); , 1906, age 42 (250 pages); , 1907, age 43 (200 pages); , 1908, age 44 (120 pages); , 1909, age 45 (400 pages); , 1913, age 49 (200 pages); , 1916, age 52 (450 pages); (400 pages); , 1917, age 53 (500 pages); , 1918, age 54 (130 pages).
Essay on Weber’s Theory of Religion or Sociology of Religion ..
Weber believes that collectivity doesn't have any life to think, feel or perceive. The basic unit of a social structure is social action. The concern of sociology is to understand the meanings associated with the action of the actor than mechanically studying action and its consequence using the methods of natural science. Sociology being concerned with problem of understanding, he introduces Verstehen method into the fold of sociology. He divides verstehen method in two types
Direct observational verstehen
Indirect explanatory verstehen
(Collected Essays in the Sociology of Religion) ..
d. Direction of causation. Which direction does the causal connection go? Weber continually asserts that the religious doctrines were separated from the economic aspects, but does not really disprove the Marxist view that the changes in religion occurred because of economic necessities. The new religions probably did develop on the basis of spiritual considerations only, but they did not remain spiritual only for very long. Luther, Calvin, the Puritans, and many others were heavily involved in political activities and pronouncements. The interests of the bourgeois class may have acted to help encourage the development of the Calvinist religious views and encouraged their widespread influence.