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Open AccessArticle

“Ye Shall Know Them by Their Fruits”: Prosperity and Institutional Religion in Europe and the Americas

Swiss-Latin American Center (CLS-HSG), University of St. Gallen, CH-9000 St. Gallen, Switzerland
“Ye Shall Know Them by Their Fruits”: The Holy Bible, King James Version (Cambridge Edition, 1769). Scripture quotations from The Authorized (King James) Version. Rights in the Authorized Version in the United Kingdom are vested in the Crown. Reproduced by permission of the Crown’s patentee, Cambridge University Press.
Religions 2019, 10(6), 362; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10060362
Received: 1 April 2019 / Revised: 17 May 2019 / Accepted: 22 May 2019 / Published: 1 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Poverty and Wealth in Biblical and Global Contexts)
Low competitiveness is a common denominator of historically Roman Catholic countries. In contrast, historically Protestant countries generally perform better in education, social progress, and competitiveness. Jesus Christ described the true and false prophets coming on his behalf, as follows: “Ye shall know them by their fruits”. Inspired by this parable, this paper explores the relations between religious systems (‘prophets’) and social prosperity (‘fruits’). It asks how Protestantism influences prosperity as compared to Roman Catholicism in Europe and the Americas. Most empirical studies have hitherto disregarded the institutional influence of religion. Taking the work of Max Weber as their starting point, they have instead emphasised the cultural linkage between religious adherents and prosperity. This paper tests various correlational models and draws on a comprehensive conceptual framework to understand the institutional influence of religion on prosperity in Europe and the Americas. It argues that the uneven contributions of Roman Catholicism and Protestantism to prosperity are grounded in their different historical and institutional foundations and in the theologies that are pervasive in their countries of influence.
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Keywords: religion and prosperity; Roman Catholicism; Protestant Reformation; Church–State relations; competitiveness in Europe and the Americas religion and prosperity; Roman Catholicism; Protestant Reformation; Church–State relations; competitiveness in Europe and the Americas
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MDPI and ACS Style

Garcia Portilla, J. “Ye Shall Know Them by Their Fruits”: Prosperity and Institutional Religion in Europe and the Americas. Religions 2019, 10, 362. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10060362

AMA Style

Garcia Portilla J. “Ye Shall Know Them by Their Fruits”: Prosperity and Institutional Religion in Europe and the Americas. Religions. 2019; 10(6):362. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10060362

Chicago/Turabian Style

Garcia Portilla, Jason. 2019. "“Ye Shall Know Them by Their Fruits”: Prosperity and Institutional Religion in Europe and the Americas" Religions 10, no. 6: 362. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10060362

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