Islamic Ethics and the Spirit of Capitalism

M. Hakan Yavuz

in Toward an Islamic Enlightenment

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780199927999
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199980543 | DOI:
Islamic Ethics and the Spirit of Capitalism

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This chapter examines how neoliberal economic policies shape the idiom and actions of the movement. Rather than focusing on the impact of religion and culture on the transformation of society and economy as Max Weber did, the author analyzes the impact of capitalist development and industrialization on the development of a new Islamic understanding that is compatible with capitalism and democracy. The author provides a comprehensive narrative of how Turkish Islam has been harmonized with the exigencies of capitalist modernity. Contrary to some Orientalist assumptions, the Gülen movement highlights motivational factors and wellsprings within Islam to promote economic and political development. The movement provides inner-worldly asceticism, rationalization of daily life, and hard work with a new ethics. This chapter argues that the new vanguard of Islamic enlightenment is the Anatolian tiger business groups.

Keywords: Max Weber; Protestant Islam; activist pietism; Calvinist Islam; Anatolian Tigers; Islamic bourgeoisie; TUSKON; Islamic asceticism

Chapter.  5668 words. 

Subjects: Islam

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