Finally, social scientists have begun to attempts to understand religious behaviour rather than to discredit it as irrational, ignorant, or foolish - and Rodney Stark and Roger Finke have played a mayor role in this new approach. Acknowledging that science...
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Finally, social scientists have begun to attempts to understand religious behaviour rather than to discredit it as irrational, ignorant, or foolish - and Rodney Stark and Roger Finke have played a mayor role in this new approach. Acknowledging that science cannot assess the supernatural side of religion (and therefore should not claim to do so), Stark and Finke analyse the observable, human side of faith. In clear and engaging prose, the authors combine explicit theorising with animated discussions as they move from considering the religiousness of individuals to the dynamics of religious groups and then to the religious workings of entire societies as religious groups contend for support. The result is a comprehensive new paradigm for the social-scientific study of religion.
""Acts of Faith" is the single 'big book' in the sociology of religion in the past decade, a monumental effort that both demolishes old theories and creates brilliant new ones. Stark and Finke have mastered the literature in the field, gathered ingenious data analysis to sustain their positions, and presented their work with flair, imagination, and brilliance. Though it is quite impossible to turn around the social science profession completely with a single book, or indeed within a single decade, these two authors have achieved a powerful beginning in this task. This landmark publication marks a turning point."--Andrew M. Greeley, University of Chicago^"This book is a major next step in developing the sociology of religion's 'new paradigm'--an important summary of the evolving 'religious economies' theory. Stark and Finke's spirited deconstruction of antireligious secularization theories and other theories of 'irrational' religion is simply delightful. And its own constructive theory offers a valuable resource for those friendly to the rational choice approach to religion, as well as a continuing challenge to its critics."--Christian Smith, University of North Carolina
Act of Faith represents an examination of the observable human side of faith, acknowledging that science cannot assess the supernatural side of religion. The religiousness of individuals and the dynamics of religious groups are explored.
Rodney Stark (Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley) is the Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences at Baylor University. His twenty-seven books on the history and sociology of religion include The Rise of Christianity; Cities of God; One True God: Historical Consequences of Monotheism; For the Glory of God, which won the 2004 Award of Merit for History/Biography from Christianity Today; and The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success and most recently Discovering God Winner of the 2008 Christianity Today Award of Merit in Theology/Ethics.
Koorong - Editorial Review.
Roger Finke is Professor of Sociology and Religious Studies at the Pennsylvania State University and Director of the Association of Religion Data Archives (www.theARDA.com). He has published in numerous social science journals and has co-authored two award-winning books with Rodney Stark: Acts of Faith: Explaining the Human Side of Religion and The Churching of America, 1776 1990. He is the past president of the Association for the Study of Religion, Economics, and Culture; is a past chair of the American Sociological Association's Sociology of Religion Section; and has served as a member of m
- Introduction: Atheism, Faith, And The Social Scientific Study Of Religion
- Part One * Paradigms In Conflict
- 1. A New Look At Old Issues
- 2. Rationality And The "religious Mind"
- 3. Secularization, R.i.p.
- Part Two * The Religious Individual
- 4. The Micro Foundations Of Religion
- 5. Religious Choices: Conversion And Reaffiliation
- Part Three * The Religious Group
- 6. Religious Group Dynamics
- 7. Catholic Religious Vocations: Decline And Revival
- Part Four * The Religious Economy
- 8. A Theoretical Model Of Religious Economies
- 9. Religious Competition And Commitment: An International Assessment
- 10. Church-to-sect Movements
- Appendix: Propositions And Definitions