Weber and church governance: religious practice and economic activity

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Mutch, A (2009)

The debate about the relationship between religion and economic activity in the wake of Weber has been cast largely in terms of belief and values. This article suggests an alternative focus on practice. It argues that taken for granted practices of church governance formed to-hand resources for the organization of economic activity. The argument is developed through an examination of the historical development of church governance practices in the Presbyterian Church of Scotland, with particular emphasis on the way in which theological belief gave rise to practices of accountability and record keeping. In turn such practices contributed to a ‘culture of organization’ which had implications for economic activity. A focus on governance practices can help to illuminate enduring patterns of difference in the organization of economic activity.
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