Max Weber and the Protestant Ethic: Twin Histories (Oxford University Press, 2014)
Max Weber and The Protestant Ethic: Twin Histories presents an entirely new portrait of Max Weber, one of the most prestigious social theorists in recent history, using his most famous work, The Protestant Ethic and the "Spirit" of Capitalism, as its central point of reference. It offers an intellectual biography of Weber framed along historical lines - something which has never been done before. It re-evaluates The Protestant Ethic - a text surprisingly neglected by scholars - supplying a missing intellectual and chronological centre to Weber's life and work.
Peter Ghosh suggests that The Protestant Ethic is the link which unites the earlier (pre-1900) and later (post-1910) phases of his career. He offers a series of fresh perspectives on Weber's thought in various areas - charisma, capitalism, law, politics, rationality, bourgeois life, and (not least) Weber's unusual religious thinking, which was 'remote from god' yet based on close dialogue with Christian theology. This approach produces a convincing view of Max Weber as a whole; while previously the sheer breadth of his intellectual interests has caused him to be read in a fragmentary way according to a series of specialized viewpoints, this volume seeks to put him back together again as a real individual.
Awarded the Istvan Hont Prize in Intellectual History (2014) by the Institute of Intellectual History at St. Andrew’s. Reviews: Duncan Kelley, ‘Not a donkey’, TLS Feb. 13, 2015, 3-5. Thomas Sokoll in H-Soz-Kult, 09.09.2015, <http://www.hsozkult.de/publicationreview/id/rezbuecher-23695>. Johannes Zachhuber, Marginalia 7 Dec. 2015: http://marginalia.lareviewofbooks.org/max-weber-on-religion-beyond-secularization-by-johannes-zachhuber/. Keith Tribe, History 100 (2015), 764-66.