Religion and Rational Choice: A Critique of Economic Explanations of Religious Behavior

Steve Bruce*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

61 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Inspired by the work of Gary Becker, there have been a number of recent attempts to apply economic models to religious behavior and belief. This essay argues that while religious behavior may be rational in the most general sense of being reasoned and reasonable, it is not illuminated by the application of expectations of economic rationality or of rational choice models. Indeed, such an approach would be meaningful only in a society that was entirely secular.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-205
Number of pages13
JournalSociology of Religion: A Quarterly Review
Volume54
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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