The Hidden Form of Capital: Spiritual Influences in Societal Progress

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Peter L. Berger, Gordon Redding
Anthem Press, 2010 - Political Science - 230 pages
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"The Hidden Form of Capital presents evidence from several parts of the changing world about how the realm of the spirit affects the economy. The idea that societies have economic cultures as well as aesthetic, literary, and artistic cultures is well-embedded in a number of major studies attempting to identify the origins of national wealth and progress. This book provides an original contribution to the debate, by discussing the relationship between religion and the economy not via further theoretical speculation, but through the presentation of analytical evidence from real-life case studies in Europe, Asia, Africa, Russia, and the United States. There is currently a major re-assessment of assumptions about the foundations of societal progress, as the market rationality model is exposed for its moral weaknesses. The emergence of socio-economics as a scholarly field, as well as the embracing of complexity theory and the societal effect in economic analysis, brings the question of cultural effects to the forefront. This collection of studies offers more practical and tangible evidence, especially unique and useful for its comparative aspect. The book skilfully combines this comparative and descriptive character with an accessible writing style intended for a wide audience."--Publisher's description.

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Chapter 3
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10

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About the author (2010)

Peter L. Berger has been Director of the Institute on Culture, Religion and World Affairs at Boston University for the past twenty years, and has had a formative influence on both the study of sociology and its application to religion.

Gordon Redding is a specialist on the comparison of alternative systems of capitalism and their societal roots; he has spent 24 years at the University of Hong Kong, and now continuing to research on Asia at INSEAD.

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