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Disenchantment of the world
(812 words)

The term disenchantment, documented from the 18th century, came into the languages of the modern science of culture through Max Weber in particular. In the famous essay, “Die protestantische Ethik und der Geist des Kapitalismus” (“The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism”) the Heidelberg scholar spoke in 1904/05 of the “great religio-historical process of disenchantment of the world,” which had begun in ancient Jewish prophecy and had culminated in the hard, this-worldly asceticism of Puritanism. Here, all magical means of the quest for salvation are rejected as superstiti…

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Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm, “Disenchantment of the world”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 20 July 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_018800>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20170626

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