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Meaning and Modernisation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 October 2008

Robert N. Bellah
Professor of Sociology, University of California, Berkeley


Modernisation, whatever else it involves, is always a moral and a religious problem. If it has sometimes been hailed as an exhilarating challenge to create new values and meanings it has also often been feared as a threat to an existing pattern of values and meanings. In either case the personal and social forces called into play have been powerful.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1968

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1 Yoshimi, Takeuchi, ‘Kindai no Chōkoku’, in Kindai Nihon Shisō-shi Kōza (Symposium on the History of Modern Japanese Thought), vol. 7 (Tokyo. Chikuma Shobo, 1959), pp. 225–81.Google Scholar

1 Harris, Christina Phelps, Nationalism and Revolution in Egypt (The Hague. Mouton, 1964), p. 146.Google Scholar

2 Soedjatmoko, , ‘Cultural Motivations to Progress: The “Interior” and the “Exterior View”’, Religion and Progress in Modem Asia, Bellah, Robert N. (ed.) (New York. Free Press, 1965), p. 2.Google Scholar

3 Several excellent books on this subject have recently become available: Stem, Fritz, The Polities of Cultural Despair, (Berkeley and Los Angeles. The University of California Press, 1961);Google ScholarMosse, George L., The Crisis of German Ideology: Intellectual Origins of the Third Reich (New York. Grosset and Dunlap, 1964);Google ScholarPulzer, Peter G. J., The Rise of Political Anti-Semitism in Germany and Austria (New York. Wiley, 1964).Google Scholar

1 Saint-Simon, Henri, ‘New Christianity’, Saint-Simon: Selected Writings, trans. Markham, Felix (Oxford. Blackwell, 1952), pp. 76116;Google Scholar August Comte: System of Positive Polity, trans. Bridges, J. H. et al. , 4 volumes (London. Longmans, Green, 18751877).Google ScholarNouveau Christianisme was first published in 1825; Système de Politique Positive in 1851–54.

2 Eisenstadt, S. N., ‘Modernization and Conditions of Sustained Growth,’ World Politics, 16 (1964), pp. 576–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

1 The remarks on the relation between Protestantism and the early publicists of science are derived from a forthcoming book on science and society by Joseph Ben-David.

1 This point has been made by Benton Johnson in several papers. For example see ‘Do Holiness Sects Socialize in Dominant Values?’, Social Forces, 39 (1961), pp. 309–16.Google Scholar

2 For a slightly more expanded comparative treatment of religious reformism see Robert N. Bellah (ed.), op. cit., pp. 207–12.

3 See Zea, Leopoldo, ‘Positivism and Porfirism in Latin America’, Ideological Differences and World Order, Northrup, F. S. C. (ed.) (New Haven. Yale, 1949).Google Scholar

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1 Shils, Edward, ‘Charisma, Order and Status,’ American Sociological Review, 30 (1965), p. 210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

2 A brief comparative treatment of some aspects of the problem of national socialism can be found in Eugen Weber, Varieties of Fascism (Princeton. Anvil, Van Nostrand, 1964).Google Scholar