Prague, Czech Republic—To mark the 100th year of the death of German sociologist and economist Max Weber, UPF organized a public lecture at its Peace Embassy in Prague.
The lecturer at the July 2, 2020, meeting was Dr. Jan Váně, PhD., an associate professor at the West Bohemian University in the city of Pilsen. After a short introduction, the speaker explained the main points of Weber’s life and his sociology.
Max Weber studied the role of religion in the historical, economic and political development of society. He claimed that we should not only research the rules of historical changes but also ask about the cause and purpose of these changes.
Weber’s best-known work is The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. According to Weber, there is a close bond between religion and economics, Dr. Váně said. Weber tried to explain why capitalism developed in the West and not in India or China. It was Protestantism that supported the development of capitalism in the West, especially after the Lutheran reformation in Germany. The change of thinking brought the change in economics.
Max Weber spoke about the difference between the charismatic leader and the dictator. The charismatic leader respects some higher authority above him (God, absolute reality, etc.) whereas the dictator considers himself to be the ultimate authority, Dr. Váně said.
The lecture was very interesting, instructive and fresh. The discussion that followed gave the participants the chance to ask more questions.
The participants expressed their appreciation for the fact that, after a long break caused by the COVID-19 quarantine, UPF once again was organizing a public lecture.