chapter  11
Weber’s Analysis of Islam and the Specific Pattern of Islamic Civilization
ByS. N. Eisenstadt
Pages 14

Weber’s analysis of Islam—fragmentary as it is—evinces the same basic problems that can be found in his analysis of those civilizations to which he devoted full treatises—the Jewish and above all the Chinese and Indian ones. We have seen 1 that in the analysis of all these civilizations he was tom between, on the one hand, their recognition as Great Civilizations or—to use Jasper’s later term—“Axial Age Civilizations,” with special dynamics of their own which distinguished them from the pre-Axial one and, on the other hand, the emphasis of prevalence within them of “traditional” “pre-Axial” characteristics which could seemingly explain why these civilizations have not developed the Western rationalism and capitalism.