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An Essay on the Economic Effects of the Reformation


This work by the esteemed Irish Professor of Economics, George O'Brien offers a unique perspective on the rise of Capitalism and Socialism and the effect of the Reformation. 

Specific topics include consequences of belief in the private judgment of Scripture; separation of spiritual and secular life; difference between Lutheran and Calvinist teachings on economics; the Calvinist concept of vocation; its perception of material success as a sign of divine election; its praise of frugality and disdain for beauty.

Also covered is Socialism as a reaction to excesses of Capitalism; the manner in which Protestantism had strengthened secular authority; diminuation of charity toward the poor following the Reformation; materialism underlying Socialism abetted by Protestant emphasis on earthly prosperity; egalitarian ideas traceable to Protestantism; and the ease with which Socialism blended into Protestant thought. 

This is a unique work of economic philosophy in that it examines the ideological causes of the economic changes of the period, thus offering a refreshing philosophical perspective rather than merely the mathematical or statistical sides of the question.

Paperback. 176 pp.

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