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The Religion of India: The Sociology of Hinduism and Buddhism

Author : Hans H. Gerth Max Weber (Author), Don Martindale (Trns, Eds)

About Book :

Max Weber's early twentieth-century study of the religions and civilization of India is a great pioneering adventure in the sociology of ancient India. Weber's insight and analysis-especially his application of the sociological perspective to the work of classical Ideologists and the religious texts available to him-were to add much to the store of the social scientist. Later, historians and archaeologists were to confirm a surprising number of Weber's theories.

The central concern of this and other of Weber's studies of countries we today describe as "developing" was with the obstacles to industrialization and modernization. Weber anticipated by several decades a problem that has come to occupy the post-World War II world.

Why had these countries failed to display the full consequences of those rationalizing tendencies which, to Weber's mind had so powerful an affinity with the scientific-technical transformation of the West? He isolated religious institutions and the key social strata which mediate them to wider society as crucial for the original formation of social-psychological orientations to the practical concerns of life and, hence, for receptivity or resistance to industrialization.