The Catholic Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1993)

Date: January 14, 2013

What Max Weber missed


“This highly informative study points the way into a future in which Catholic ethics can both support and correct a market economy. This book should be read by both Catholics and non-Catholics concerned with the moral basis of modern societies.”

Peter Berger
Boston University

“With a close look at the social encyclicals from Rerum Novarum to Centesimus Annus, Michael Novak introduces a fresh hypothesis—the emergence of positive theological and ethical correlations between Catholicism and capitalism. Since Novak has proven to be more prescient on economic and religious matters than most of his Protestant critics want him to be and many of his Catholic colleagues have yet acknowledged, his arguments deserve close attention and vigorous debate.”

Max L. Stackhouse
Author, Public Theology and Political Economy

“More clearly than any other book I’ve read, Michael Novak’s eminently scholarly—and readable—volume shows the insubstantiality of the long-celebrated Protestant Ethic considered as a building block of capitalism. And in the process he opens up masterfully not only the reality of the Catholic Ethic in capitalism’s history but of other social and cultural forces as well.”

Robert Nisbet
Author, The Quest for Community



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