No Rest for the Wicked: Protestantism and Economic
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Thursday, January 07, 2010
No Rest for the Wicked: Protestantism and Economics (59:01)
In the 21st-century landscape of shopping malls and skyscrapers, capitalism appears irreligious—but beneath its secular veneer lie theological principles born in the 1500s. This program examines the rise of the Protestant work ethic and the religious foundations of Western industry; it also reveals a Protestant consciousness at the heart of social activism and the opposition to extreme capitalism. Beginning with John Calvin and his sanctification of material success, the film focuses on Britain’s Nonconformist movement, John Winthrop’s colonial ventures, the Puritan basis of Benjamin Franklin’s ideals, and divisions that arose within Protestantism over slavery and the excesses of factory labor. (60 minutes)
Medieval Catholicism (01:37)
Medieval Catholicism is described as a religion of retreat. Catholicism emphasized that poverty and godliness went hand in hand.
Protestantism was egalitarian in that it made no distinction between the priest and the ordinary person.
Protestant Work Ethic (01:08)
In the world of work, Protestants found the answer to their painful spiritual predicament. Success in the world was a sign from God they were blessed. Work became a way to glorify God.
Sacred Toil (01:09)
Protestants worshipped God through an act called "sacred toil." Diligence, moderation and sobriety were traits they admired.
New Puritan Obsession: Time (01:33)
The preoccupation with business gave rise to a new Protestant obsession: time. Discipline and time management was the best way to ensure God's favor.
John Winthrop: A City Upon a Hill (01:27)
John Winthrop obtained a royal charter, along with other wealthy Puritans, from King Charles for the Massachusetts Bay Company and led a group of English Puritans to the New World in 1630. In famous speech he calls America, "City upon a hill."
Early Colonists (00:54)
Early colonists survived harsh conditions of New World with spiritual mettle and a culture of self-sufficiency.
Benjamin Franklin (04:33)
Benjamin Franklin embodies Protestant work ethic. Self-help, personal industry and betterment were his guiding ethos.
The Industrial Revolution had a profound effect on roads and infrastructure in cities and towns.
Slave Labor (02:02)
Catholic Empires kicked started the slave trade but as Protestants went in search of profit they began to dominate the slave trade.
Anti-Slavery Campaign (03:23)
Anti-Slavery campaign begins in Britain by non- conformist agitations. This was the first popular human rights movement.
Michael Sadler (02:13)
In mills and mines children work in dangerous conditions. The relentless pursuit of profit comes at the cost of human life. Michael Sadler is gripped by moral indignation.
Henry Ford's American Dream (01:56)
Liberty and the drive for prosperity describe the American dream. Henry Ford treats his workers well and ensures high quality labor. The car symbolized a new era of mass consumerism.
Wall Street (01:38)
Wall Street experiences philosophical vacuum as there is no restraint when it comes to making a profit.