Marketplace of the Gods: How Economics Explains Religion

Hardcover | August 4, 2010

byLarry Witham

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In Marketplace of the Gods, award-winning journalist Larry Witham tells the inside story of the ground-breaking - and controversial - "economic approach" to religion, a story rich with history, contemporary thought, and the colorful people who are using economic ideas to solve the puzzles ofour religious beliefs and behaviors. Written with an investigative flare and a lively writing style, this fascinating book presents a wide-ranging account of how the economic approach to religion can be applied to different faiths, activities, and times in history. Drawing upon cutting edge ideasfrom the behavioral sciences, and a deep knowledge of religious history, this new approach reveals how the choices individuals make regarding religion can shape households, groups, movements, and the entire "religious economies" of nations. For many, this new economic approach seems an uncomfortablemixture of sacred and profane, turning our good angels into grubby consumers. But as Witham concludes, the economic approach to religion has insights for everyone, believers and skeptics, offering an exciting exchange of ideas between economics, sociology, psychology, history, and theology.

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In Marketplace of the Gods, award-winning journalist Larry Witham tells the inside story of the ground-breaking - and controversial - "economic approach" to religion, a story rich with history, contemporary thought, and the colorful people who are using economic ideas to solve the puzzles ofour religious beliefs and behaviors. Written ...

Larry Witham is an award-winning journalist based in the Washington, DC area. He is the author of ten books, including Where Darwin Meets the Bible and Who Shall Lead Them?

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.98 inPublished:August 4, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195394755

ISBN - 13:9780195394757

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgementsPreface1. The Economic Approach2. Rational People and Religion3. Life in the Household4. The Gods of Risk5. Why Religions Form6. History of an Idea7. Marketplace of the Gods8. Debating Secularism9. How Religion Shapes Economics10. The Merits of MammonGlossaryNotesIndex