Benjamin Nelson, “Max Weber, Ernst Troeltsch, Georg Jellinek as Comparative Historical Sociologists”

Category : Sociology

The discussion by Max Weber on church, sect and mysticism which I introduced in translationi n a recent issue of Sociological Analysis, is an exceptional example of the different ways four of the greatest German sociologists related to
key issues in the domains of the sociology of religion and the forms of religiosity. The chief themes at issue in their colloquy, though not always so plainly stated, were the varied patterns of relations of churches, sects, mysticisms, rationalisms, rationalizations, and secularizations on the roads to modernity. The main, not the only, participants in the colloquium were Ernst Troeltsch, who initiated the discussion by offering a historic paper on Stoic-Christian natural law,’ Ferdinand Toennies, Georg Simmel, and Weber himself. (A fifth man who figured in the background of these discussions but was not named by any of the discussants was Weber’s close friend, Georg Jellinek, of whom we shall speak below.)

Source: Sociological Analysis 36.3 (Autumn 1975): 229-240

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