Religion as a Dynamic Force
The .view of religion as a sort of shadow institution which merely reflects the power and interests of the dominant classes' was challenged by the German sociologist, Max Weber. Weber (1864-1930] examined the rise of capitalism and felt that it was favored by the attitudes stressed by ascetic Protestantism.
Thus, rather than religion being without real influence, it actually helped to formula the direction of economic change. Weber ideas ar.e dealt with in more detail later, in the discussion of the latent effects of religion.