protestantism or market first?

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  • #15068

    Mr. Woods,

    After listening to your lecture on Protestantism, I start wondering if some (at least weak) causal relationship could be drawn between appearance of Protestantism and general rise of market exchange and trade?

    I mean, Protestantism seems to be the first religion that allowed people to act in the outer world as they like (as long as they have faith), or at least gave them much more freedom of action then earlier European religions… at a similar time when Europe economy was rising.

    So, which of these statements could have some degree of truth:
    1. rise of freer economic relationships was a cause that “pushed” people unknowingly to come up (and accept in good numbers) with a religion that stands less in their economics ways;
    2. appearance of Protestantism was a relevant cause that freed people to act more freely, resulting in superior economic ways;
    3. these two are unrelated, none caused the other, or the possible relationship is not clear at all.



    hayek_novice, you might consider posting this in the Western Civ discussion forums as well. I believe Dr. J addressed this at one point, but I cannot recall exactly what he said.

    I believe it was mostly #2, I think he points out that the countries that embraced protestantism were the ones who also led the way in the industrial revolution.

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