“An engrossing and insightful account of the branding of early Christianity through entrepreneurship, networking, manipulation of civil governments, and the control of entry into the Roman religion market. This is a major contribution to the study of religion, giving us a fresh, analytical approach to early Christianity and how it became the powerful medieval church.”
(Rachel M. McCleary, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University)
“Economic Origins of Roman Christianity takes readers on a sweeping tour of a millennium, introducing us to Saint Paul as entrepreneur, the Nicaean Council as product strategy, and Charlemagne and Pope Leo III as masters of vertical integration. Using economic models, the authors narrate a history of religion that adds a new dimension to our typical view of the political, military, and theological origins of Christianity. There is much here for economists to ponder and enough storytelling to keep history buffs going.”
(Larry Witham, author of Marketplace of the Gods: How Economics Explains Religion)
“By applying fundamental economic principles, Ekelund and Tollison shed light on the often mysterious ecclesiastical practices of the Roman Catholic Church as well as its weakening grip as an institutional monopoly in the marketplace of religions. Economic Origins of Roman Christianity will have wide ramifications for economists, sociologists, and political scientists concerned with economic development, the roots of religious plurality, and institutional change.”
(Murat Iyigun, University of Colorado)
About the Author
Robert B. Ekelund Jr. is the Catherine and Edward Lowder Eminent Scholar of Economics at Auburn University. He is the author of numerous books, including The Marketplace of Christianity with Robert D. Tollison and Robert F. Herbert. Robert D. Tollison is the C. Wilson Newman Professor of Economics at Clemson University.