Beyond Weberian Rationalization


  • Humberto Ortega-Villaseñor University of Guadalajara


religion, rationalization, determinism, Eurocentrism, nominal monotheism


Currently we live a collapse of the totalitarian looks and widespread neo-liberalism. It seems appropriate to discuss the social role of religion in the critical-social perspective of modernity and especially the humanism of the future. Therefore, I shall refer only to a basic aspect of the religious thought of Max Weber, taking as a point of contrast framing and critical view of Mesoamerican tradition. Max Weber argued that all religions were part of a world-historical process whose evolution is explained by the momentum of an internal logic traced by the irrepressible desire to rationalize ideas and life, especially in the case of salvation religions. Process that he considered as inevitable and whose outcome is modern religious rationality. This line of thinking with universalist claims leads us to question the validity of deterministic proposals that should already be limited to the western world and to European concerns - given their reductionism not only in the face of religious visions such as the one that Kierkegaard had about Christianity. In addition, it leaves out polytheistic conceptions and combinations derived from syncretism, such as the traditional conceptions of the peoples who were colonized (where monotheistic religions are nominal, because they did not follow the steps of the Weberian protocol), or that belong to Millennial civilizational horizons such as China, India or Mesoamerica, whose evolution does not necessarily lead to the rationality to which that German thinker refers.

Author Biography

Humberto Ortega-Villaseñor, University of Guadalajara

University of Guadalajara, Department of Literature Studies, Zapopan, Mexico.






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