“RELIGION AND THE RISE OF CAPITALISM”: TAWNEY BOOK

July 4, 2007 at 9:55 am | Posted in Books, Economics, Financial, Globalization, History, Philosophy | Leave a comment

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Richard Tawney

Richard Tawney was born in Calcutta, India, in 1880. He was a student at Rugby and at Balliol College, Oxford, obtained a degree in modern history. After university he worked at Toynbee Hall and in 1905 joined the executive committee of the Workers’ Educational Association (WEA). He lectured at Glasgow University between 1908 and 1914 but continued to work for the WEA. Tawney held several senior posts in the organisation including vice-president (1920-28) and president (1928-44).

A member of the Union of Democratic Control in the First World War, Tawney became a lecturer at the London School of Economics in 1917.

Tawney continued to take a keen interest in politics and was a supporter of the Popular Front government in Spain during the Spanish Civil War.  Promoted to professor of economic history in 1931 he was also a member of the University Grants Committee (1943-49). Tawney, a Christian Socialist, wrote several influential books on education, politics and economics. The most important of these being The Acquisitive Society (1921), Secondary Education for All (1922), Education: the Socialist Policy (1924), Religion and the Rise of Capitalism (1926) and Equality (1931).

Richard Tawney died in 1962.

Comment: Headed up the Ratan Tata Foundation at the LSE.

Richard Tawney speech at the Union of Democratic Control

(11th November, 1920)

For every man who a year ago knew and said that the Peace Treaty was immoral in conception and would be disastrous, there are thousands who say it now. Though there seems little to be said about the Treaties which has not been said already, it is nevertheless of immense importance to let public opinion abroad realise that the heartless and cynical politicians who negotiated them do not represent the real temper of Great Britain.

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