Illustration Ragni Svensson.

Reviews Max Weber and Russia The long road to modernity

Vesa Oittinen (ed.) Max Weber and Russia, Helsinki 2010, Aleksanteri Series 2/2010, 197 pages

Published in the printed edition of Baltic Worlds Pages 47-50, Vol 4:2010
Published on on January 11, 2011

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Max Weber was keenly interested in conditions in Russia, as primarily shown in his essays on the Russian prerevolution of 1905 published the following year in Archiv für Sozialwissenschaft und Sozialpolitik, a journal for which Weber was a contributing editor.1 January 1905 brought Bloody Sunday in St. Petersburg, which was followed in May by the Japanese victory over the Russian navy at Tsushima — the first time in modern history that a non-white people defeated one of the white colonialist peoples.

The year 1905 was a fateful year in general, with mutinies within the Black Sea Fleet (Battleship Potemkin) and uprisings at the Kronstadt naval base.

The tsar had relinquished his absolute power and Russia was moving toward a parliamentary system; a Duma was elected and Russia was suddenly, and for the first time, controlled by a government. However, the tsar still retained sufficient power to oppose the proposed constitution drafted by the Duma, and only the prime minister had the right to request an audience with the tsar.

An election was held in April that made the Constitutional Democrats the strongest group in the Duma. This Duma was dissolved in June 1906 and the newly elected Duma did not convene until February 1907. It was dissolved in June of the same year in connection with a “reactionary” coup in which Stolypin was advisor to Nicholas II. Stolypin was an impressive figure. During his tenure as prime minister, agrarian reforms were instituted that were intended to establish a modern, capitalist system of agriculture, but the reforms never proceeded beyond half measures because the mir, the village communities, demonstrated such serious resistance to development and the abandonment of tradition.

Weber began to analyze conditions in Russia during the period between Bloody Sunday and Tsushima. He quickly learned enough Russian to be able to follow the Russian daily papers. There was a reading room in Heidelberg that had Russian newspapers, but Weber also subscribed to several (as documented by his request to have them forwarded to Flanders while there on a recreation trip).

This interest in Russia had a long prehistory. Max Weber had laid the foundations of his scholarly repute and career with his extensive studies resulting in a work of more than 800 pages on farm workers’ conditions East of the Elbe. These studies were sponsored by the Verein für Sozialpolitik and are reflected in his inaugural address in Freiburg im Breisgau, “The Nation State and Economic Policy”.2

Weber is usually ascribed a Russophobic attitude, which may be accurate on a geopolitical level. The German border to Poland coincided with the border to Tsarist Russia, and the encircled Germany had an interest in making sure this border toward the East did not become too porous. For this reason, Weber recommended stemming the inflow of guest workers: the Polish peasants were, after all, prepared to “eat grass” and outcompete German smallholders in a kind of reverse social Darwinism.3 The politically and militarily dominant Junker class had a utilitarian interest in cheap seasonal labor and wanted protectionist tariffs against American competition in the grain market, tariffs which would have conflicted with Germany’s national interest in modernization. Agricultural policy is a focal point (Schwerpunkt) in Weber’s scholarly profile. This was expressed at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri, where Weber appeared before an audience for the first time in eight years and then chose to speak specifically about German agricultural policy from a historical perspective.

Weber’s Russophobia did not result in any lack of Russian students in Heidelberg, who flocked to the University — and to Weber. So it was more a matter of geopolitics than ethnic stereotypes, which may be noteworthy in light of Weber’s disdain for Poles, stereotypes instilled in him during military service in Posen.

Agricultural policy is important in Weber’s analyses of Russia — he emphasizes the obstacles to efficiency that could have smoothed the way for industrialization and modern capitalism. The liberal Russian zemstvo movement4 held out the promise of a Russian transformation to Western modernity. As prime minister, Sergei Witte advocated the rationalization of Russian society. Earlier, as finance minister, he had worked to improve the infrastructure by means including railway construction, most importantly the building of the Trans-Siberian Railway, which was intended to replace the Suez Canal as a transport route.

That no real revolution came about in 1905—1906 was to a large degree the result of peasant lethargy; there were no social movements there of the kind found in France in 1789 or Sweden in the 1430s. Witte resigned when he felt he no longer enjoyed the tsar’s confidence. “Even today, Weber’s articles about the Russian Revolution of 1905/1906 can help to illustrate the distance between Russia and the West and to understand the — possibly — irreconcilable Russian conflict between traditionalistic rigidity and desperate struggle for modernization, in short, the chances of Russia’s transformation to Western modernity.”5 This was written after die Wende and the implosion of the Russian Empire in 1991—1992. But civil liberty and the rule of law without administrative arbitrariness (“sultanism” is one term Weber uses to designate the opposite of a legal state6) was a utopian goal in a Russia characterized by lethargy and illiteracy, where the rural tradition of obshchina presented an obstacle to private ownership and marginalized the kulaks’ relationship to ordinary farmers.7 Farmland was normally not privately owned, but was instead held in common by the village, something that did not promote novel initiatives or improvements in operational efficiency. One might, like Weber, talk about a natural, primitive communism that worked against the pride and ambition that private ownership can evoke.8 In theory, the land allotments could be re-distributed on an egalitarian basis every fifteen years within the village community, and it was not until the new Russian Land Code of 2001 that farmers could gain full and unrestricted rights, including the right to buy and sell land. The landowning large farmers and estate owners outside the obshchina system were opposed to the small-scale and hidebound smallhold peasants, among whom the kolkhoz system had, so to speak, ready soil — hence the expression “primitive communism”.

As a national liberal German patriot, Weber’s interest in the geopolitical dimension and the problems and prospects of liberalism in 1905—1906 makes perfect sense. This was connected to Germany’s own pre-parliamentary state of affairs: a complex federal system with no real parliamentarianism and a Kaiser who was absolute monarch of Prussia and inclined to consider himself the same for all of Germany. Outmoded forms of government were a main cause of the outbreak of World War I — as pointed out by Wolfgang Mommsen, one of the editors of the thick volume of Max Weber Gesamtausgabe (MWG), issued in 1989 and containing Weber’s writings on the Russian prerevolution. Mommsen further believes that Weber’s writings on Russia after the October Revolution should be viewed in light of the situation in Germany at the time. Sham democracy prevailed there under Prince Max von Baden as parliamentary chancellor (that is, reporting to the Reichstag; before that, the Reichstag’s main power had been to decide on finances, but the chancellor had reported to the Kaiser) during the final phase of Wilhelmine rule, even though Germany was an open society with a dawning party system and free media. Weber also discussed the nascent Russian party system and the relationship between Church and State, two interests dear to his heart. The Orthodox Church’s repudiation of the profane world did not make modernization any easier. The divorce between the eastern and western churches of 1054 still has its acknowledged predictive force.

Weber’s concern with Russia has an interesting sequel. After the war, he was forced to support himself9 and was a probationary employee in Vienna, but after a year in that city, he chose to accept an offer at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich to succeed Lujo Brentano.10 Weber died in June 1920 of complications from pneumonia. He had not enjoyed bustling Vienna, where he was forced to jostle with profanum vulgus on the streetcars. (In addition, his employer forgot to pay him on time. In Munich, he was also closer to his mistress, Else Jaffé von Richthofen.) Weber’s lecture, “Socialism”, given to Austrian military officers (later also held in Munich) is an intriguing document — a sort of bouillon cube or distillate of his political analyses.11 Here, he thoroughly explores The Communist Manifesto, which he deems to have certain scholarly qualities.12 He cautions against a system in which both economic and administrative power are held in a single hand, and deems the Russia that had been taken over by a “local sect” a huge experiment. Also telling is a famous argument at the Café Landtmann in Vienna between Weber and Joseph Schumpeter, when Weber became so incensed that he forgot his hat upon his hasty departure.13 Actually, there was cognitively more that united the two than divided them — but while “Schumpy” welcomed an interesting, full-scale social experiment, Weber was more civic-minded and inclined toward an ethos of responsibility. One should keep in mind that Weber had lived through the Bavarian Soviet Republic in 1919, was dragged into its aftermath, and became a character witness who probably saved the life of Ernst Toller, victor at Dachau, in the vanguard of a hastily assembled army of workers and peasants. The third and final phase of the Bavarian Revolution was dominated by Communists (including Eugene Leviné and Ret Marut) and a number of stark raving mad, psychopathic Russian anarchists who instituted, among other things, a curfew for “bourgeois” elements and a court-martial to deal with violations.

In connection with the 1917 revolutions, Weber wrote, as noted, about Russia’s transition to sham democracy. His perspective focused on the prospects for a stable peace between Russia and Germany. Even in the popular outline lecture “Politics as a Vocation” of January 1919, Weber touches upon conditions in Russia. One should remember that immediately after World War I, there was a fear that Bolshevism would prevail, and socialist revolts were by no means unusual. For a time, Bavaria was joined by Hungary and Saxony as Soviet Republics, Finland had experienced a bloody civil war, the Spartacists rose up in Berlin. And the Ruhr region was a hotbed of revolutionary activity. The danger was not averted until the “Miracle at the Vistula” in August 1920 when Pilsudski vanquished a much larger Russian army outside Warsaw.14

Weber tended to overestimate “soldier’s communism”, the revolutionary potential of homeward-bound troops, yet underestimate the leaders of the Bolshevik regime, whom he regards as café literati, a category he consistently disparaged. The assimilation of soldiers who had served at the front into society is one of Weber’s main reasons for advocating the full implementation of democracy in Germany as well, which is best evinced in “Suffrage and Democracy in Germany”, perhaps the most important of his political writings during the war, in some competition with “Parliament and Government in Germany under a New Political Order”, which Johann Winckelmann preferred to regard as the draft of a never accomplished Weberian political sociology.15

After the implosion of the Russian Empire, the question was asked as to which classics of social science were significant for the understanding of both ongoing and imminent transformation processes. The answers have varied, but Max Weber has been a favorite alongside Talcott Parsons, Karl Polanyi, Carl Schmitt, Joseph Schumpeter, Gunnar Myrdal, Karl Marx, and S. N. Eisen-stadt. Randal Collins identified16 the tensions that would lead to the breakdown of the USSR, although he did not manage to predict when it would occur. Considering that several other roads to modernity already exist elsewhere in Europe, it is a reasonable prediction that whichever version Russia chooses, it will be path dependent. But “path dependence” is a truism; all nations are dinosaurs, controlled by formative historical memories.17

There has been an abiding antagonism or tension between history and theory ever since the days of Comte and Ranke. Particularisms and Sonderwege imply a nomothetic ideal as a contrast, which seems at once unattainable, perpetually “on the horizon”. It may be legitimate to create new taxonomies, today dependent upon globalization having reached qualitatively new levels that have put older modernization theories (e.g. Parsons’ and Stein Rokkan’s) in mothballs before we have found new instruments.
In the current Russian reception of Weber, focus is primarily on the basis of legitimacy and aspects of the sociology of religion. Russia today is post-secular and the Orthodox Church is playing a key role in the government’s legitimization process, a notion that can be supported in many ways, including quantitative media studies. Weber did not develop any ideal type of democratic legitimacy, although he may have considered doing so toward the end of his life.18 To him, democracy was a subtype of what he called charismatic legitimate rule, which was inherently a non-stable transitional form between traditional legitimacy and the legal-rational legitimacy of modern government. Weber certainly overestimated the role of charisma, but here he still feels refreshingly au courant: Singapore indicates that a calculable legal state is more important than “democracy” (polyarchy and open society).

No dedicated “value rational” democrat, Weber was instead a rational or “functional” democrat, defined more by an ethos of responsibility than by an ethos of conviction. His first priority was to integrate the working class into the German nation and modernize the German polity, to develop Germany from Machtstaat to Volksstaat. Accordingly, he advocated the institution of parliamentarianism and full political rights, including for the working class.19

There is much to say about the concept of charisma — both its interpretation and operationalization are relatively complex matters, and Weber himself had an ambivalent attitude toward rapture vs. reason. He could probably find the prospects for a successful Russian jump start to modernity appealing, provided that this circumvented the rigid bureaucracy of the West, molded by the iron cage of rationality. After all, the functions of charisma include generating meaningful new values. But the irreversible trend of rationalization is the cognitive main tendency in the Weberian view on history. Russia is a country that seems always to have been on the way toward Western modernity20 — but obviously slowly, and in a way punctuated by savage kicks and starts. Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great, and Lenin/Stalin are all coworkers in the same long-term project, while liberal-constitutional forces have never really been given the chance.21

After the works of Yuri Davydov,22 which are of the nature of “Weber and …”, an inexhaustible subject, we now have a volume on Max Weber and Russia under the stewardship of Vesa Oittinen, which is based on a symposium that took place in 2007. The anthology was presented at the ICCEES World Congress in July/August 2010. It contains contributions from younger researchers from Finland, the Netherlands, Germany, Mexico, Canada, and Russia. Tapani Hietaniemi, the foremost Finnish Weber specialist alongside Kari Palonen, died before he could write his contribution. Some of the essays are like etudes, but laudable and promising ones nonetheless. To talk as Gregory Sandstrom does of Weber’s value neutrality is not wrong, but nor is it wholly right. In his methodological writings, Weber qualifies freedom of values to value relationship, but the popular so-called twin addresses of 1917—191923 on “Science as a Vocation” and “Politics as a Vocation” can probably be understood as an argument for value neutrality or value freedom in a, so to speak, Viennese empiricist spirit. Sandstrom’s reflections on Weber and re-enchantment are of considerable contemporary relevance, not only in the case of Russia.

If, as in this volume, one comes across the term neo-Weberianism, there is reason for skepticism: the term does not exist in Weberology. It is hardly wrong as a designation for Michael Mann and Randall Collins, but neither of them have any acknowledged role in Weberology — they are rather typical examples (setting aside their other merits) of the iconographic use of Weber. From a longer time perspective, it is noteworthy that Pitirim Sorokin24 carried Weber with him in his baggage to the United States, and that there may be a line of influence to Parsons, for whom, according to some, Sorokin was the model for his Weber-inspired system construction. Igor S. Kon wrote a widely used textbook in which Weber plays a prominent role.25 Alexander von Schelting occupied himself a great deal with both Weber and Russia — but as far as I know, not at the same time or combined.26

There are significant parallels between Weber and Lenin when it comes to viewing imperialism as the highest stage of capitalism, although from different value premises. Both apply the British economist Hobson’s theories on imperialism and business cycles, and Weber’s power realism (in the same tradition as Thomas Hobbes and later Henry Kissinger and Hans Morgenthau) leads him to advocate German participation in the hunt for colonies as an aspect of the European balance of power. In terms of foreign relations, Weber was closer to Hitler than to Bismarck. One should add that Hitler’s programs essentially coincided with the principles of most of the major parties in the Weimar Republic; the difference was the brutal means Hitler employed to implement the program.

Weber’s work on the Protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism makes up Part I of his posthumously published GARS (Gesammelte Aufsätze zur Religionssoziologie) and must be depressing reading for a Russian whose home is east of the famed divide of 1054.27 Entrepreneurialism and Protestant virtues seemingly have a positive correlation, which is also supported by Estonia’s great successes compared to its neighbors, with the laggard of Greece a fine complementary illustration. More recent survey research seems to suggest that the main line of demarcation in attitudes is not between Protestant and other Christian churches, but between Protestantism and Roman Catholicism on side and Orthodoxy on the other.28 Karl Schlögel’s studies of urban culture point in the same direction. West of the 1054 divide, the center of the village is not the sole province of the church, but is shared with the town hall. The virtues of civil society and its institutions are gradually diluted in the porous Kresy of Poland. Magdeburger Stadtrecht reached Kiev but no further.29

One may speak of a delayed reception of Weber everywhere — more delayed in Eastern Europe than in the West. WuG was translated at the same time it was deconstructed in MWG to its composite parts. The details are rather complex and I will not go into them here.

Oittinen’s volume contains many pearls and is rewarding reading from several perspectives. Evert van der Zweerde’s essay contains a valuable overview of Weber’s works on Russia. Josephien van Kessel discusses interesting ideal types of rationality, although with mixed references that raise questions about selection. I would otherwise like to make special mention of the contributions of Mikhail Maslovskiy, Elena Ostrowskaya, and Rimma Tangalychea, which may be understood as potent scholarly history. Ostrowskaya’s observation that the fact “that such key German sociologists as F. H. Tenbruck, W. Schluchter, J. Weiss, M. Riesebrodt, and R. Münch, among others, referred to the analysis of the major themes of Weber’s sociology of religion in their work represented a fundamental turning point in German Weber studies” (p. 22) is very true and important. The pedagogical commissioned work WuG as Weber’s main work is a so-called factoid (defined as an invented fact believed to be true). The theme of Weber and Tolstoy is given rightful attention by van der Zweerde.30


  1. English version in Max Weber, The Russian Revolutions. Translated and edited by Gordon C. Wells and Peter Baehr, Cambridge 1995. The volume is an annotated selection of Weber’s writings on Russia, both from 1906 and from near the end of World War I.
  2. Published in 1895. Der Nationalstaat und die Volkswirtschaftspolitik is included in GPS (Gesammelte Politische Schriften). The English version is found in Max Weber, Political Writings, edited by Peter Lassman and Donald Speirs, Cambridge 1994.
  3. Ola Agevall, “Science, Values, and the Empirical Argument in Max Weber’s Inaugural Address”, in Max Weber Studies, Vol. 4:2 (July 2004), a theme issue dedicated to Weber’s relevance as a theorist of politics, edited by Sven Eliaeson and Kari Palonen.
  4. Zemstvo were non-governmental base organizations at the regional level, which also arranged national assemblies (after 1903, when they had held an assembly in Schwarzwald, near Schaffhausen). The Zemstvo movement was dominated by liberal/constitutional goals; it had no official sanction and was stymied by schisms in the Kadet party. See MWG: Abteilung I: Schriften und Reden, Volume 10; Max Weber, Zur Russischen Revolution von 1905, editor W. J. Mommsen in cooperation with Dittmar Dahlmann, Tübingen 1989, p. 88 ff. Dittmar Dahlmann characterizes the league of zemstvo constitutionalists as a lobbying group for large landowners, but the zemstvos were also assembled bodies for local management of road construction, social welfare, trade, tax collection, etc.
  5. Karl-Ludwig Ay, “On Some Observations of Max Weber”, in Sven Eliaeson & Hans Lödén (eds.), Nordisk Säkerhetspolitik inför nya utmaningar [Nordic security policy in the face of new challenges], Stockholm 2002, p. 88.
  6. Borrowing from Juan L. Linz and Alfred Stepan, Archie Brown labels the Ceasescu-family rule in Romania from the 1970s “increasingly sultanistic”. (The Rise and Fall of Communism, London 2010, p. 543)
  7. Obshchina refers to peasant communes (cooperative communities) responsible for (re)allocation of land, and collectively responsible for taxes until 1903, as well as for law enforcement.
  8. Richard Pipes is the scholar on Russian affairs who has most energetically propounded the significance of private property rights. See for example “Max Weber and Russia”, pp. 371—401, in World Politics, vol. 7:3 (1955), a work cited by van der Zweerde in his contribution to Oittinen’s anthology.
  9. His mother Helene had invested the family fortune in German war bonds, which became worthless after the war.
  10. He had several alternatives to choose among, including Bonn.
  11. “Sozialismus” is included in GPS but is also available in English-language anthologies, such as Max Weber, Political Writings, Cambridge 1994; originally published as a pamphlet in Vienna 1918, a lecture given to Austrian officers by invitation of the Hapsburg Feindepropaganda-Abwehrstelle.
  12. On the scholarly qualities of the Manifesto and its relevance today, see Bob Jessop, “The Communist Manifesto as a Classic Text”, pp. 199—219, in Sven Eliaeson & Nadezhda Georgieva (eds.), New Europe: Growth to Limits? Oxford 2010.
  13. Witnessed by diplomat Felix Somary, who recounts the incident in his memoirs.
  14. Norman Davies writes about this in, for example, White Eagle, Red Star: The Polish-Soviet War, 1919—20, London 2003.
  15. “Wahlrecht und Demokratie in Deutschland” was published first as a pamphlet, number 2 of a series, Der deutsche Volksstaat: Schriften zur inneren Politik. Parlament und Regierung im neugeordneten Deutschland: Zur politischen Kritik des Beamtentums und Parteiwesens (Munich & Leipzig 1918) was based on five articles first published in the liberal Frankfurter Zeitung between April and June 1917. According to Weber, the delay was due to the “usual technical difficulties of printing” (quoted from Political Writings, p. 130), most likely a euphemism for difficulties with wartime censorship. Weber’s criticism of the Kaiser’s dilettantish interventions in politics made these texts controversial. Weber was at times close to being charged with lese majesty. Johann Winckelmann, co-creator with Bernhard Pfister of the Max Weber Archives in Munich, actually compiled a Max Weber: Staatssoziologie based primarily on Weber’s more exhaustive wartime articles in FZ and published as a supplement to WuG. It should be noted that GPS can be downloaded for free from Potsdam University. The various issues preserve the original pagination, which makes them more useful for researchers.
  16. Randall Collins, Weberian Sociological Theory, Cambridge 1986. See especially Chapter 8 (“The Future Decline of the Russian Empire”).
  17. Liah Greenfeld, Nationalism: Five Roads to Modernity, Cambridge, Mass. 1992. This book is also valuable because it provides a perspective on the relatively new Multimodernity Paradigm, which has a more global approach.
  18. Stefan Breuer, “The Concept of Democracy in Weber’s Political Sociology”, in Ralph Schroeder (ed.), Max Weber, Democracy, and Modernization, Basingstoke 1998.
  19. This is the same problem Guenther Roth deals with in The Social Democrats in Imperial Germany (Totowa, NJ, 1963). I will otherwise refrain here from going any deeper into the widespread controversy that followed Wolfgang Mommsen’s famous dissertation on Max Weber and German politics (1959, English translation of the second edition, as Max Weber and German Politics 1890—1920, Chicago 1984), regarding Weber’s pragmatic “contextual” approach to the appropriate balance between parliamentary power and presidential authority. See also Sven Eliaeson, “Constitutional Caesarism: Weber’s Politics in their German Context”, in Stephen Turner (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Weber, Cambridge 2000.
  20. Helmut Steiner: “‘Russia in Europe’: A Historical and Topical Debate”, in Sven Eliaeson & Nadezhda Georgieva (eds.), New Europe: Growth to Limits?
  21. In common with Prussia, Tsar Peter’s role model was the Swedish Oxenstiernian state bureaucracy, impartial and rational, which has perhaps not been given the attention it deserves. But transferring the Swedish model to the conditions of the peasants was difficult because of translation problems, since the relevant words do not exist in the Russian language. Torkel Jansson writes on the subject in Rikssprängningen som kom av sig: Finsk-svenska gemenskaper efter 1809 [An unsuccessful dismemberment of a realm: Finnish—Swedish relations after 1809], Stockholm 2009.
  22. Yuri N. Davydov & Piama P. Gaidenko, Russland und der Westen, Frankfurt/Main 1995. (Heidelberger Max Weber-Vorlesungen 1992.)
  23. It was formerly believed that the “twin addresses” were given in quick succession in Munich during the revolutionary winter of 1918—1919. Later research has persuasively shown that “Science as a Vocation” had been delivered by November 1917. “Politics as a Vocation” was meant as popular education, rather than an academic lecture in the strict sense. Weber had been induced to appear, since Freistudentischer Bund had otherwise threatened to invite Kurt Eisner, whom Weber despised; he considered Eisner a traitor because he had in correspondence with U.S. President Wilson accepted the idea of Germany as being to blame for the outbreak of war in 1914, something Weber moreover considered a tactical move intended to wrest Bavaria from the Little Germany created by Bismarck.
  24. Pitirim Sorokin is one of the most influential migrants in sociology. His life trajectory is dramatic. Among else, he was sentenced to death in Russia and put on the “philosophers’ ship” in 1921 with intellectuals expelled from the Soviet nation. His background is partly Finnish.
  25. Igor S. Kon, Der Positivismus in der Soziologie: Geschichtlicher Abriss, Berlin 1968.
  26. Alexander von Schelting, Max Webers Wissenschaftslehre: Das logische Problem der historischen Kulturerkenntnis: die Grenzen der Soziologie des Wissens, Tübingen 1934, and Russland und der Westen im russischen Geschichtsdenken der zweiten Hälfte des 19. Jahrhunderts, aus dem Nachlass herausgegeben und bearbeitet von Hans-Joachim Torke, Wiesbaden 1989.
  27. Weber’s work on the Protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism was published first as an essay in two parts in Archiv … 1905 and in a second edition as a book in 1920. It is included as the first section of GARS (Gesammelte Aufsätze zur Religionssoziologie), Weber’s main historical-empirical work. His so-called sect essays of 1906 (“‘Kirchen’ und ‘Sekten’”), were written under the impression of having visited hillbilly relatives in Mt Airy, NC, during his long journey in America, were published in two parts in FZ. The text is a shortcut to Weber’s Calvinist thesis and its routinization (“Der Puritaner wollte Berufsmensch sein, wir müssen es sein”). English edition (Max Weber, “Churches and Sects in North America”) in the ASA journal Sociological Theory, vol. 3:1 (Spring 1985). Weber’s method here can most closely be characterized as participatory observation and the predestination doctrine of the Calvinist thesis becomes very clear.
  28. Bernhard Weßels, “Religion and Economic Virtues”, in Eliaeson & Georgieva (eds.), New Europe: Growth to Limits?
  29. Karl Schlögel, Im Raume lesen wir die Zeit: Über Zivilisationsgeschichte und Geopolitik. Munich & Vienna 2003.
  30. The person who has most thoroughly studied the theme of Weber and Tolstoy is probably Edith Hanke; see her Prophet des Unmodernen: Leo Tolstoi als Kulturkritiker in der deutschen Diskussion der Jahrhundertwende, Tübingen 1993. Hanke is one of Wolfgang Mommsen’s many close collaborators and one of the driving forces of MWG.

Vesa Oittinen (ed.) Max Weber and Russia, Helsinki 2010, Aleksanteri Series 2/2010, 197 pages