Saturday, November 17, 2012

Noll Reviews Godly Republicanism

Mark Noll reviews "Godly Republicanism: Puritans, Pilgrims, and a City on a Hill," by Michael P. Winship.


Tom Van Dyke said...

Christian types overplay the religious angle of the Puritans.

Most interesting to me is how the "Puritan"/Calvinist cultural sensibility sustained into the Founding era. A fabulous example is Max Weber's famous

Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. 1905

In the linked chapter above, he argues Ben Franklin's "Protestant ethic"---as we all know, Franklin didn't hold onto his parents' Calvinist faith, but he sure held onto the Calvinist attitudes about thrift, work, and all that American Way jazz!

Benjamin Franklin himself, although he was a colorless deist, answers in his autobiography with a quotation from the Bible, which his strict Calvinistic father drummed into him again and again in his youth: “Seest thou a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings” (Prov. xxii. 29). The earning of money within the modern economic order is, so long as it is done legally, the result and the expression of virtue and proficiency in a calling; and this virtue and proficiency are, as it is now not difficult to see, the real Alpha and Omega of Franklin’s ethic, as expressed in the passages we have quoted, as well as in all his works without exception.

Jonathan Rowe said...

Noll's piece is worth a big long slow read.