March 14, 2006

Calvinistic?

This fascinates me:

....It's an enormous success story for a man whose own father had been a carpet weaver, eking out a living in a traditional artisan economy.

Yet Mr Arsalan is not alone.

His native city is full of prospering entrepreneurs like him who are turning this former merchant trading town into a booming manufacturing hub.

Kayseri is one of a handful of cities industrialising at an astonishing rate in Anatolia, Turkey's central province and the country's Islamic heartland. Unlike the big urban centres of Ankara and Istanbul, the population is made up of devout, conservative Muslims.

Restaurants rarely serve alcohol, unmarried men and women don't mix on the streets, and there is little in the way of nightlife. Yet the new entrepreneurialism sweeping across the province is providing an unlikely catalyst for a remarkable religious transformation.

A new form of Turkish Islam is emerging here, one which is pro-business and pro-free market, and it's being called Islamic Calvinism...
(Thanks to O. Judd)

So, maybe sell our Europe Fund, and buy the Turkish Fund, if there is such a thing? If there isn't now, there probably will be soon enough.

This sure doesn't fit a certain sort of stereotype, does it? And while Weber's famous theory was that Calvinism and Protestantism caused the economic predominance of Northern Europe, that is by no means generally accepted. Another possibility is that is was the other way around; that the factors that caused economic growth also led to Protestantism. I recall that Jim Bennett in The Anglosphere Challenge argued that it was the rise of a High Trust Culture in N. Europe that led to the desire for a reformed Christianity...

Posted by John Weidner at March 14, 2006 6:33 PM
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