The article analyses the interrelation of religious ethics and entrepreneurship by looking at the case of North American Mennonites in the twentieth century. It focuses on the interpretation of meaning and the discursive negotiation of entrepreneurial legitimacy during a time of rapid socio-economic transformation. The article interprets Mennonite entrepreneurship as a form of embedded economic action within the religious community. It argues that this embeddedness shaped discourses, institutions and practices of entrepreneurship. Mennonite entrepreneurs engaged in debates with church representatives and academics, and they frequently participated in church committees. While the article refers to the reception of Max Weber in economic history, the focus on entrepreneurship in the religious community offers a new perspective that relates to the concept of ethnic entrepreneurship.
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