from the Protestant Ethics of ludezhong and Calvinism to the history and logic of “asceticism after entering the world”. The following is a historical and logical study of
from ludezhong and Jia “the Protestant Ethics of abstinence after entering the world to justice”. Zhang ShenNa
in the book Protestant Ethics and the spirit of capitalism, After research, Max Weber believes that the doctrine and ethical thought in Protestantism, especially the asceticism after China’s entry into the WTO, promoted the emergence of the spirit of capitalism and the development of Rational Capitalism. Protestantism here generally refers to a series of new religions formed and developed in European countries with the separation of religious reform from Catholicism since the 14th and 15th centuries, mainly Lude sect in most of Germany and Northern European countries, Calvinism in Switzerland, the Netherlands, Scotland and part of Germany, and Angan sect in England. Taking Lutheran and Calvinism as examples, this paper attempts to make a historical and logical analysis of the change process of Protestant ethics itself.
I The “extroverted character” of Catholicism’s “salvation of good deeds” not only makes the relationship between faith and secular life inextricably linked, but also opens the door to the corruption of the church – which has become a basic point of Protestant reform
In medieval Europe, Catholicism played an important role in all fields. At that time, not only the secular imperial power came from the church, but also the Catholic church controlled and penetrated the politics, economy, culture and people’s daily life in Western Europe in an all-round way through a series of organizations and systems such as churches and monasteries: the Roman Catholic Church once played the role of the unification of Western Europe, and the church occupied a large part of social wealth, The monastery became the most typical cultural organization throughout the middle ages. The authority of the Roman Catholic Church was gained through the Pope’s interpretation of the Bible, but the authority of the Roman Catholic Church was blocked by the Pope’s interpretation of the Bible, The power to control whether people’s souls are saved after death.
since the 14th century, the Roman Church has implemented the forgiveness system by selling atonement vouchers, and gradually developed into an important form of salvation for good deeds. In the history of Christianity, atonement vouchers first appeared during the Crusade (1096-1291). At that time, in order to entice Christians in Western Europe to join the Crusade, the Holy See launched a war of aggression against the eastern Mediterranean, announcing that all jihadists who participated in the Crusade were exempted from all guilt. After death, the soul could go directly to heaven with a written atonement certificate, which was the original atonement certificate. Later, in order to further collect money, the church created the theory of “holy treasury of good deeds”. Its content is that Jesus died for atonement for the world, and his boundless merits and virtues are kept in the “holy treasury of good deeds” by the church. Sinful Christians can redeem their sins and save themselves by doing good deeds in exchange for Jesus’ “merits and virtues”. This is the basic content of the theory of “good deeds saved”. At that time, the Roman Church had various requirements for doing good deeds, including pilgrimage, almsgiving, paying homage to sacred objects and observing sacraments. After the 14th century, the purchase of atonement vouchers became the main form of salvation. Pope Benedict XII (1334-1342) also formulated an open list of atonement prices, which set different prices for different crimes…
by the beginning of the 16th century, the Holy See sold atonement vouchers not only in terms of names, but also more and more frequently, On the eve of Martin Luther’s religious reform, atonement vouchers were sold in 1500, 1501, 1504 and 1509. At that time, there was a loud slogan in the church: as long as the gold coin “jingles” into the atonement box, your soul will enter heaven. Atonement voucher, a typical form of “good work saved”, makes “soul saved” God’s “divine grace”,
into exchangeable goods. Objectively, its emergence is closely related to the development of commodity economy in Western Europe since the 14th and 15th centuries. It is the specific application of the principle of commodity exchange in the field of faith on the redemption of human soul. The biggest and most direct consequence of the implementation of atonement voucher system is that it opens the door to the flood of human nature. As Weber said, the life ethics of Catholics in the Middle Ages was the so-called “earn and eat”. Their good deeds may not form related systematic activities or rationalized systematic life, but are still a series of individual behaviors. This is because there are many ways to release their “guilt”. When necessary, they can use those good deeds to redeem some sins, or buy atonement vouchers to pay an insurance premium for their souls to go to heaven after death. The “extroverted character” of the Catholic Church’s “salvation of good deeds” not only inextricably linked faith with secular life, but also opened the door to the corruption of the church. They converted the “divine grace” stored by the church into a steady stream of gold coins. According to the estimation of the Nuremberg religious conference in 1522, the property of the German Church was 1 / 2 of that of the whole Germany. The religious reform in the 16th century began when Martin Luther opposed Pope Leo X’s unscrupulous selling of atonement vouchers in the name of building St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome.
II. Lutheran’s theory of “faithfulness and righteousness” has put faith on the road of “working inward”. However, the concept of “vocation” has given sacred meaning to secular occupations.
Martin Luther knows that if we want to really ban the Catholic “atonement voucher” system, Catholic theological theory and its pillars must be fundamentally destroyed. In the middle ages, Catholicism preached that people were guilty, so they had to save their souls; The holy see is the representative of Christ in the real world. Therefore, only by participating in the sacraments and doing good deeds presided over by the clergy can people be favored by God and saved. In 1620, Martin Luther wrote his three famous works: to the Christian aristocracy of the German nation, the captivity of the church in Babylon andCalvin’s “predestination” theory of
can be traced back to the “original sin” theory of Augustine, a medieval theologian. Augustine believed that “original sin” was not committed by us, but by our ancestors Adam and Eve. Therefore, redemption can not be achieved through our efforts, but must rely on God’s will and grace. Calvin inherited and developed Augustine’s theory and believed that human’s “original sin” was determined in the garden of Eden. Due to falling into the state of sin, human has completely lost the spiritual and will power needed to pursue any salvation. Therefore, a natural person cannot be redeemed by his own power. The only possibility for people to be saved is that Jesus, the son of God, made atonement for mankind with the sacrifice of his own blood, but it is still not all mankind, but a few people who were saved. These people are chosen by God, and no human means of prayer can change God’s will. Before we were born, God, with his free will beyond our good and evil deeds and sins, decided who should be saved and who should sink. This is God’s will. Some authoritative sentences in the Westminster declaration of 1647 quoted by Weber in Protestant Ethics and the spirit of capitalism are sufficient to prove this characteristic of Calvin’s “predestination”, The excerpt is as follows:
“v… before the foundation of the world was laid, God had selected Christ to give eternal glory according to his eternal and unchangeable will and the secret enlightenment and good wishes of the will. This was done entirely out of God’s generosity, grace and love, and did not foresee faith, piety or good deeds, or one of the two…” 。
“verse 7. In order to show his supreme power over his creation, God did or refused to do so. Therefore, according to the Enlightenment of his own will, God ignored the rest of sentient beings and stipulated that they should be humiliated and sent by heaven for their sins, so as to show the glory and justice of God.”
“Chapter 10 (on effective calling), Section 1. Where God has doomed eternal life, and only these people, God is willing to effectively call (call them out of the state of sin and death they were born in) through his word and spirit when he is appointed and satisfied …… As for the question of God’s determination of man’s destruction and salvation, Calvin replied in Paul’s words, “he (God) said to Moses, ‘I will have mercy on whoever I want to have mercy on, and I will have mercy on whoever I want to be kind to.” On the issue of salvation, although Luther denied the role of free will in the field of moral practice – good work, he believed that in the spiritual level, there is and only personal belief plays a decisive role in salvation; Calvinism completely denies the possibility of human free will to be saved, and whether an individual is saved depends entirely on God’s choice. Calvin also admitted that the “predestination” theory seemed inhuman. In this theory, God is cold, unreasonable and superior. He is the king with absolute power. Redemption has become God’s completely free and unexplained grace and gift. This is in sharp contrast to the loving, generous and human God in the New Testament. No wonder Weber quoted Milton as saying: “although I may go to hell, I must not be forced to respect such a God.” Calvin’s irrational “predestination” theory drove people out of God’s protection and had to enter the vast universe, Walk alone to the destination that seems to have been decided. Weber said that this doctrine “because of its extreme inhumanity, it must have had a serious consequence on the lives of a generation convinced by its perfect consistency”. Weber reminds us to try to understand that in the period of religious reform, the biggest thing in life for Christians is to get salvation, and the above-mentioned doctrine makes them lose the ready-made way and way to get salvation by relying on themselves and external forces. Without help, the priest and church could not help him, because the intermediary between God and man had been dismantled since Lutheran, and the church and priest only assumed the function of educating people according to the doctrine; Sacraments and meritorious deeds are not the methods and conditions for obtaining grace, or even can not play any auxiliary role; For those “abandoned people”, the only way is not to be saved… So far, Calvinists have fallen into a deep “fatalism”, that is, whether they are saved or not is determined by God.
on the one hand, Calvinists regard redemption as the most important thing in this world, on the other hand, whether people can be saved is chosen and predetermined by God. Therefore, the two questions have formed unprecedented tension – whether they can be sure that they are chosen by God has become the primary problem that every Christian must face. Calvinists only know that God has chosen a small number of people to be saved, while the vast majority have become “abandoned people”. However, as for who are “voters”, God will not reveal this “secret”, and any witchcraft has no way to see through this “secret”; If we presume the infinite God with the limited of human beings, or measure the supreme judgment of God with the so-called “justice” standard of human beings, it is not only impossible, but also a kind of “arrogation” and blasphemy to the omniscient and omnipotent God. As a result, Calvinism’s practice of denying almost all external forces to confirm whether they were saved greatly deepened the uncertainty of “voters” and brought a deep sense of uncertainty to Calvinists.
on the surface, Calvin’s “predestination” theory completely gives man’s destiny to God. Man is only a tool for God to show his will, and whether man is redeemed has long been determined by God; However, from the perspective of believers, everything is uncertain, because people can never understand God’s plan. This leaves Calvin believers with the most possible self confirmation of redemption, that is, to verify that they are chosen by God with their own actions in practice; Among them, Calvin pointed out that actively seeking career success through intense professional labor is the best way to confirm redemption, because successful career means realizing the pre-determined mission given by God. It is not only a reliable proof of the salvation of the soul, but also an important way to glorify God. That’s it. Weber pointed out sharply