Legal Doctrine of Max Weber’s Sociology of Religion

Kristaps Zariņš

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Belatedly, this work is dedicated to prof. Max Weber’s (hereinafter – Weber)
commemoration day of the centenary and focuses on the sociological understanding of
the state and canon law. In order to better examine Weber’s views on the economic ethics
of religion, human rights will also be examined in comparison – as a factor of interaction
between opposites and sets of views – as they better identify Weber’s asceticism about
the spirit of norm Protestantism. On the other hand, in a conventional discourse and
a review of the theory of social stratification, through the so-called theory of degrees and
directions of rejection, the essence of Weber’s idea will be best understood by examining
how religion influenced formation of contemporary law and approach to contemporary
law comparing it with the constitutional system of Latvia, among others. The article has
been designed with a view that, by observing peculiarities of the era of Weber’s lifetime,
the work would have a more modern character.
Wherever in this study it is referred to purely legal dogmatic problems, the author
has relied on the literature on the history of the church and law and to some extent on
the past of the dogmas formed by it. Furthermore, the author mostly relies on materials
obtained from Weber’s law sociological argumentation and comparative perspective,
which serves to clarify the typology of the sociology of religion. To the extent possible,
the author also delves into the primary sources of the history of law; due to their linguistically specific style of expression and peculiarities, in accordance with the objective to
study Weber’s views on the socio-historical genesis of the state and canon law and their
nature, which includes looking into canonical norms for the sociological understanding
of law, textual identification of primary sources is not examined in more detail. However,
the most important ideas expressed in Weber’s works are compared with those of other
prominent representatives of this field
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-139
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • church
  • sociology of religion
  • canon law;
  • sociology of law
  • religious law
  • legal norm
  • ideal norm
  • legal phenomenon
  • lex nature
  • conventional norms
  • commandment
  • Calvinism
  • Puritanism

Field of Science*

  • 5.5 Law
  • 5.4 Sociology

Publication Type*

  • 1.2. Scientific article included in INT1 or INT2 category journal of ERIH database


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