The Soul of Development: Biblical Christianity and Economic Transformation in Guatemala

Hardcover | April 30, 1999

byAmy L. Sherman

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Ever since Max Weber started an argument about the role of Protestantism in jump-starting northern Europe's economic development, scholars have clashed over the influence of religion and culture on a society's (or an individual's) economic prospects. Today, many wonder whether the "explosion"of Protestantism in Latin America will effect a similar wave of growth and democratization. In this book, Sherman compiles the results of her field study and national survey of 1000 rural Guatemalan households. She offers persuasive evidence that, in Guatemala and throughout the region, religiousworld-views significantly influence economic life. Sherman explains how the change in attitude and behavior that accompanies conversion from animism to a Biblically orthodox world-view has improved the domestic welfare and economic status of many families. Further, she asserts that this newattitude, sympathetic to democratic-capitalism, has created a "moral cultural soil" in which freedom, personal empowerment, an enhanced status for women, and a desire to get ahead can be nurtured.

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Ever since Max Weber started an argument about the role of Protestantism in jump-starting northern Europe's economic development, scholars have clashed over the influence of religion and culture on a society's (or an individual's) economic prospects. Today, many wonder whether the "explosion"of Protestantism in Latin America will effec...

Amy L. Sherman is at Ethics and Public Policy Center, Washington, DC.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:232 pages, 9.45 × 6.38 × 0.91 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195106717

ISBN - 13:9780195106718

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"...Sherman offers a well-argued case that spiritual convictions can influence economic outcomes at the individual level, through their impact on attitude and lifestyle choices."--The Marketplace