This book contains highly original essays on the sweep of Western civilization from the middle ages to the present, including such topics as conscience and usury, "probabilism" in science and theology, systems of spiritual direction, Max Weber and economic development. The author and editor explore issues in the comparative history of science and the riveting question of why modern science arose only in the West and not in China or the Muslim world. It is a continuation of the challenging civilizational agenda set out by Max Weber's writings on the world religions, including the fate and vicissitudes of the Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Nelson had much to say about processes of universalization, now studied as globalization.
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