Article

The Study on Ancient Israel and Its Relevance for Contemporary Politics

Eduardo Weisz

in The Oxford Handbook of Max Weber

ISBN: 9780190679545
Published online February 2019 | e-ISBN: 9780190679569 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190679545.013.24
The Study on Ancient Israel and Its Relevance for Contemporary Politics

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When Max Weber began his work on the historical importance of the relationship between the Protestant ethic and modern capitalism, he committed himself to the most enduring of his theoretical interests, the economic ethic of the most important religions. Investigating central issues in Max Weber’s study on ancient Judaism, this chapter points to its relevance for the understanding of contemporary populism. For this purpose, two key aspects of his work are emphasized: this religion’s rationality—inescapable for the understanding of Western modernity—and the charisma of the biblical prophets, based on their social and political position as well as on the affective bond they formed with the masses. Both aspects provide important insights for the assessment of contemporary populist movements.

Keywords: ancient Judaism; rationality; charisma; populism; prophet

Article.  6171 words. 

Subjects: Social Theory ; Political Sociology ; Sociology of Religion

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