When thinking about the impact of religious beliefs on economic organization, scholars should focus on the example of medieval England that proves how religious doctrines influence people’s ability to enforce their cooperation. Basically, when morality rates are quite high, repeated interactions can’t sustain cooperation, so people requite spiritual sanctions for economic organization to enforce both their secular and religious cooperation.
This idea explains who guilds evolved and expanded in the past when Catholics promoted their doctrine of purgatory while repeated plagues reduced urban population considerably. The reformation dispelled this doctrine and weakened guilds while disrupting economy and necessitating the development of fresh methods to organize this industry. It’s hard to deny that religious beliefs had a great impact on economic activities, and many written works prove this fact.
However, how and why religion influences economic organization still remain debatable subjects, and there are different channels that link the secular and spiritual society. In terms of traditional scholarships, they emphasize how religious beliefs can shape people’s desires, tastes, habits, and so on, and this research was started by Max Weber. Its main focus was the preferences of labor people to leisure, consumption, and physical goods accepted by fears of damnation and religious peers.
Weber also argued that the reformation changes the above-mentioned preferences in Protestants, thus encouraging the accumulation of capitals and expanding industries. His famous theses emerged from his research and examined the structure of commercial laws and enterprises in Europe at that time. It also established an important baseline that still helps people assess how the reformation impacted commerce and economic organization.
The latest studies in this field elucidate how different incentives shape organization, why religious sects focus only on specific niches, and where economic opportunities induce trading between secular and spiritual activities. Both traditional and new studies share their common thread to the basic ideas offered by Max Weber. Finally, they also explore the evolution of economic and religious institutions because it was important for forming the modern market.
When thinking about the impact of religious beliefs on economic organization, scholars should focus on the example of medieval England that proves how religious doctrines influence people’s ability to enforce their cooperation.