Christian culture 基督教文化学刊

The Tension between Religion and Economy: A Review of the Forum of Christian-Confucian Dialogue Based on Protestant Ethics and the Spirit of Capitalism

Author:SHEN Lu, Associate Professor, School of Design Art of Shandong Youth University of Political Science



The Institute for Ethics and Religions Studies of Tsinghua University held a forum of Christian-Confucian Dialogue based on Protestant Ethics and the Spirit of Capitalism. Professor Chen Ming and Professor Chin Ken pa took part as keynote speakers, and a number of scholars with Confucian and Christian backgrounds participated in the discussion. The discussion focused on the relationship between social and economic development and cultural dynamics in China. The two speakers’ views reflected two positions in current Weberian research: those following Weber’s Model and those departing from Weber’s Model. Professor Chin analyzed the tensions in Puritan belief implied by Weber`s proposition, and argued that this tension of belief had a dynamic effect on economic development. Professor Chen reminded the audience that scholars should note Weber’s ideological background—as a German imperialist, liberalist and nationalist in writing Protestant Ethics and the Spirit of Capitalism. He stressed that returning to Weber’s living context would stimulate contemporary scholars’ sense of mission. During the discussion, participants had very meaningful debate about whether a community could break away from Weber’s Model and what the China model was. Scholars were particularly interested in what the model of interaction between economic development and culture actually showed in today`s China.



Weber’s model; culture and economy; the sacred and the profane; tension; Christian-Confucian Dialogue


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