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Choice and Religion : A Critique of Rational Choice Theory - Steve Bruce

Choice and Religion

A Critique of Rational Choice Theory

Hardcover Published: 1st February 2000
ISBN: 9780198295846
Number Of Pages: 264

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The orthodox view is that the democracies of the western world have become increasingly secular over the twentieth century. Fewer and fewer people have chosen to believe, and the church has declined markedly as religion has changed from being part of an identity ascribed at birth to being a matter of personal choice. Choice and Religion provides a detailed critique of the 'rational choice' approach to religion to demonstrate that industrialisation has secularised the western world and that diversity, far from making religion more popular by allowing individuals to maximize their returns, undermines it. The claim that diversity and competition promote religion is refuted with evidence from a wide variety of western societies. Bruce examine the Nordic countries and the ex-communist states of eastern Europe to explore the consequences of different sorts of state regulation, and to show that ethnicity is a more powerful determinate of religious change than market structures. Where religion matters, it is not because individuals are maximising their returns, it is because it defines group identity and is heavily implicated in social conflict.

Industry Reviews

`The notes ot the text and the bibliography will be useful to post-graduate researchers.' Douglas J. Davies, Religion Vol 31, No 1,January 2001 `open and direct style of analysis without untoward reductionism gives this book an intellectual appeal' Douglas J. Davies, Religion Vol 31, No 1,January 2001 `his account of relativism as a democratic theory of knowledge is as informative as it is expressly succint ... some theologians will also find this a useful book when considering the relationship between doctrine and changing social worlds' Douglas J. Davies, Religion Vol 31, No 1, January 2001 `this volume will be of use for courses in the sociology of religion. It advances and does not simply rehearse arguments over secularisation and over what he calls the two master trends of modernisation, viz., cultural diversity and individual autonomy.' Douglas J. Davies, Religion Vol 31, No 1, January 2001 `I much enjoyed this book as both a critical and a creative essay in the sociology of religion' Douglas J. Davies, Religion Vol 31, No 1, January 2001 `Bruce expertly hammers in the nails with respect to secularization in Western Europe.' David Martin, TLS `Bruce is notorious for inserting his skewer at the point of maximum leverage' David Martin, TLS `The force of Bruce's arguments is impressive.' James A Beckford, Journal of Contemporary Religion,Vol 15.

Choice: Origins and Consequences Rational Choice Theory Pluralism and Religion: Britain, USA and Australia Pluralism and Religion: Europe Rational Choice: The Basic Errors Conservative Religion Liberal Religion

ISBN: 9780198295846
ISBN-10: 0198295847
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 264
Published: 1st February 2000
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.39 x 15.6  x 1.6
Weight (kg): 0.51

Earn 302 Qantas Points
on this Book