Weber and "Kulturprotestantismus"

Christopher Adair-Toteff
Max Weber's Die protestan­ tische Ethik und der "Geist" des Kapitalismus is a "classical text" that few read and even fewer understand. Heinz Steinert maintained that the work could be understood only when readers understood its cultural context; that is, un­ derstanding what Protestantism meant to Weber and his contemporaries. For many of them Protestantism was superior to Catholicism, a point under­ scored in the 'Kulturkampf ' as well as in speeches given in honor of Martin Luther's 400th
more » ... n Luther's 400th birthday. Julius Köstlin, Albrecht Ritschl, Adolf Harnack, and Heinrich Treitschke gave the most important of these, and contributed significantly to Weber's understanding of, and appreciation for, Protestantism. Steinert may not be totally correct to insist that we read the protestantische Ethik as a religious pamphlet, but he is undeniably right to insist that we put 'protestantische' back into Die protestantische Ethik.
doi:10.25365/oezg-2012-23-3-4 fatcat:g3ugvijmqndhpi3pgjniakkxju