Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Modernity and the Jews in Western Social Thought$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Chad Alan Goldberg

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226460413

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226460697.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 23 September 2021

The German Tradition: Capitalism and the Jews

The German Tradition: Capitalism and the Jews

Chapter:
(p.43) 3 The German Tradition: Capitalism and the Jews
Source:
Modernity and the Jews in Western Social Thought
Author(s):

Chad Alan Goldberg

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226460697.003.0003

Through a comparison of Karl Marx, Georg Simmel, Werner Sombart, and Max Weber, this chapter identifies two patterns in how they conceived the relationship between modern capitalism and the Jews. On the one hand, modern economic life is described as the universalization of a Jewish spirit. On the other hand, modern capitalism is described as superseding Jewish contributions that made it possible. These two patterns, it is argued, reproduce in secularized form cultural assumptions derived from Christian theology. The chapter suggests that cultural schemas derived from Christian theology shaped the thinking of Marx, Simmel, Sombart, and Weber by way of their religious backgrounds, formal schooling, and/or the philosophical tradition of German idealism. The chapter concludes that contemporary scholars should not abandon historical inquiry into the social carriers of capitalist rationality in favor of an ahistorical approach to economic life. Instead, social scientists must become more historical in a double sense: in regard to the groups they study, so as to avoid essentializing them, and in regard to themselves, so as to become more attentive to how the social scientist’s own internalized history shapes his or her vision and division of the social world.

Keywords:   Jews, modernity, capitalism, Karl Marx, Georg Simmel, Werner Sombart, Max Weber

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.