- Copyright Page
- About the Editors
- Abbreviated Titles for Max Weber’s Texts
- Chronology of Max Weber’s Life
- Max Weber Past, Present, and Future
- Economics and Society and the Fate of Liberal Capitalism
- Max Weber’s Analysis of Capitalism
- Money, Credit, and Finance in Capitalism
- Law and the Development of Capitalism
- Is There a Future for Bourgeois Liberalism?
- Contemporary Capitalism and the Distribution of Power in Society
- Weberian Social Theory: Rationalization in a Globalized World
- Democracy, Partisanship, and Civil Society
- Nation, Nation-State, and Nationalism
- The Weberian City, Civil Society, and Turkish Social Thought
- The Modern State and Its Monopoly on Violence
- The Relevance of Weber’s Conception and Typology of Herrschaft
- The Supranational Dimension in Max Weber’s Vision of Politics
- Plebiscitary Politics and the Threats to Legality: Some Classical Insights on a Current Phenomenon
- Politics and Ethics, and the Ethic of Politics
- Max Weber’s Ethics for the Modern World
- Max Weber and the Late Modernization of Catholicism
- The “Disenchantment of the World” or Why We Can No Longer Use the Formula as Max Weber Might Have Intended
- The Literati and the Dao: Vernacular and Nation in China
- Class, Caste, and Social Stratification in India: Weberian Legacy
- Including Islam
- The Study on Ancient Israel and Its Relevance for Contemporary Politics
- The Rationalizations of Culture and Their Directions
- Max Weber and the Sociology of Music
- Contemporary Life Conduct and Existential Cultures
- From Occidental Rationalism to Multiple Modernities
- Max Weber and the Idea of the Occident
- Intellectuals, Scholars, and the Value of Science
- The Iron Cage in the Information Age: Bureaucracy as Tangible Manifestation of a Deep Societal Phenomenon
- Causation, Value Judgments, Verstehen
- Realism and Reality in Max Weber
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter traces connections, affinities, and contrasts between Max Weber’s interpretation of Western modernity and S. N. Eisenstadt’s notion of multiple modernities. Although Weber was aware of diverse components entering into the dominant pattern of modernity, he did not develop any systematic line of argument on varieties of modernity. Eisenstadt went beyond Weber’s problematic with a conceptual focus on civilizational dimensions. The chapter emphasizes three main implications of this turn: the civilizational aspect of human societies that stresses the variety of interconnections between cultural articulations of the world and social institutions, the conception of modernity as a new civilization centered on a vision of human autonomy that includes Weber’s cultural emphasis on rationality, and the idea that legacies of older civilizations affect the formations of modernity in different regions of the world. Eisenstadt addresses a spectrum of modern sociocultural worlds as well as a group of major civilizational traditions, both of which constitute broader fields for comparative research. This does not mean that Eisenstadt invariably improves upon Weber’s approaches. The interesting case of Japan, about which Eisenstadt wrote more extensively than Weber, shows that the latter’s more historical perspective still has merit.
Johann P. Arnason is emeritus professor at La Trobe University, Melbourne, where he taught sociology from 1975 to 2003, and affiliated with the Department of Historical Sociology, Faculty of Human Studies, Charles University, Prague, where he taught from 2007 to 2015. His research interests center on social theory and historical sociology, with particular emphasis on the comparative analysis of civilizations. Recent publications include Anthropology and Civilizational Analysis: Eurasian Explorations (edited, with Chris Hann; 2018); “Elias and Eisenstadt: The Multiple Meanings of Civilization,” in Social Imaginaries (2015); and “Theorizing the History of Religions: The Weberian Agenda and Its Unresolved Issues,” in Social Imaginaries (2017).
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