Annamaria Vassalle

An accepting rejection: Paradoxes of Weltindifferenz in Max Weber's thought

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Max Weber; indifference to the world; world mastery; world image; Western development.

This paper analyses the Weberian concept of Weltindifferenz (Indifference to the World). Despite its peripheral position in the complex structure of Sociology of Religion, I believe that this concept allows us to highlight some of the fundamental cores of the Weberian analysis of religious world images (Weltbilder). In particular, what I want to demonstrate is that the idea of Weltindifferenz offers a new perspective for rethinking the Weberian theory of the inner development of the West. I will base my argument on two elements: the hybrid nature of Weltindifferenz, being it a paradoxical mixture of rejection and acceptance of the world, and its opposition to the concept of Weltbeherrschung (World Mastery). Finally, in the concluding remarks, I will focus on the heuristic potential of this concept with regard to the comprehension of indifference as a socially and politically relevant phenomenon of the contemporary scenario.

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