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Choice and Religion: A Critique of Rational Choice Theory Hardcover – February 10, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0198295846 ISBN-10: 0198295847 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews

Review

`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.

About the Author


Steve Bruce is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Aberdeen
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (February 10, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198295847
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198295846
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,012,824 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 25, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book is excellent. Intellectually insightful and extremely well-written. It is a huge breath of fresh air in the midst of all the BS that is fogging up current American sociology of religion. This book lays out a blistering, air-tight attack on "rational choice" theories of religion and shows how flawed such an approach truly is. How can you even talk about "cost/benefit" concerning religion when no two people can even agree on what a "cost" is or what a "benefit" is? For one person, a three hour Bible study session every Wednesday is a burdern ("cost"), but to another person, is is a joy/pleasure. To reduce religious involvement to base economic models is simply unsociological and teaches us very little. Afer all -- what is "rational" anyway? Bruce explains why rational choice theories of religion are weak -- and then some. His critiques of Stark, Finke, and Iannaccone are brutal -- and right on. Bruce goes on to reveal the extent of secularization in Europe -- his evidence is solid (unlike Stark's). Bruce's analyses of religion -- and its demise in Europe -- are plausible and well-reasoned.
I found this entire book insightful, enjoyable, and perhaps the best sociological analysis of religion to come out in years. Bruce is Brilliant.
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Choice and Religion: A Critique of Rational Choice Theory
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