Posts Tagged ‘Golden Rule’


Robert Nelson on Lutheranism and Nordic Social Democracy

The Nordic states are known for their high levels of socio-economic equality, good governance, and high levels of social trust. While some scholars have attributed this to their unique brand of secular social democracy, Prof. Robert Nelson (U of Maryland) argues that Nordic social democracy has deep roots in the “Lutheran ethic.” We discuss how the Lutheran ethic is different than the Calvinist ethic (as seen by Max Weber), how contemporary social democratic thought in Nordic countries has similar elements to Lutheranism, and what is in store for social democracy.

Check out our other podcasts related to the Protestant Reformation this year!

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Mike McBride on the Economics of Religious Leadership

Why is religious leadership so important? And what do rituals have to do with establishing authority and leadership? Prof. Michael McBride of UC-Irvine discusses the underlying economic logic of religious leadership, particularly as it relates to coordinating group activity. Central to any leadership position is the issue of coordinating expectations among followers. Mike shows how various rituals, normative values, and sacrifices can assist in make leadership effective. We also discuss the implications of his theory with some surprising extensions to secularization theory.

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