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Edinburgh University: Gifford Lectures – Professor Kathryn Tanner #2/6 – ‘Christianity & the New Spirit of Capitalism’ – Chained to the Past


About this lecture series – Christianity and the New Spirit of Capitalism

The current configuration of capitalism, in which finance plays a dominant role, has the capacity to shape people in ways that hinder the development of any critical perspective on it. This series of lectures will explore the various cultural forms of finance-dominated capitalism and suggest how their pervasive force in human life might be countered by Christian beliefs and practices with a comparable person-shaping capacity. In this way, these lectures reverse the project of the German sociologist Max Weber in his Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, while employing much the same methods as he used. Weber showed how Christian beliefs and practices could form persons in line with what capitalism required of them. These lectures will demonstrate the capacity of Christian beliefs and practices to help people resist the dictates of capitalism in its present, finance-dominated configuration.




About this lecture

Kathryn Tanner outlines the way in which finance-dominated capitalism structures our sense of time. She details how the past comes to constrict both present and future, as exemplified in the psychological and social effects of debt. Whether in the form of student loans or mortgages, a thirty-year commitment to debt-service does not factor in future uncertainties in the job market, creating a pressured combination of unyielding demand and instability. MORE AT LINK





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