Did you make a New Year’s resolution this year?
Did you make a New Year’s resolution this year? If so, you are participating in a social as well as a personal ritual. The patterns of resolutions, considered collectively, reveal what many of us consider to be virtuous.
You’d be in the majority if you chose to work on “healthy living” in some way. Eating healthier and being more physically active are two of the most popular Canadian and American New Year’s resolutions. What drives this particular version of the virtuous life — healthy living as virtue — rather than the many alternatives?
Would you be surprised to hear that the root is Protestantism?
The early Protestants believed that the way to salvation was through hard work and self-discipline. Max Weber, one of the early sociologists, argued that this “Protestant ethic” became core to capitalism.
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