Soteriology, Eschatology and Theodicy: A Weberian Analysis of Value-Commitments in Christianity, Islam and Judaism

Mark Gould, Haverford College

This paper provides an ideal typical characterization of the value commitments dominant within Islam, Christianity and Judaism in terms of a Weberian analysis of fundamental building blocks of religiousity. I contrast Christian soteriology, grounded in both natural law and original sin, with Islamic eschatology, grounded moral voluntarism and in fitra, the constitution of women and men that leads them naturally to God, with Judaic theodicy, grounded in natural law and the understanding that people have the capacity to act in ways meriting “salvation.”

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 Presented in Session 49. Rethinking Max Weber for a New Sociology of Religion