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Customer Review

on April 8, 1998
Secularization theorists beware! Stark provides an immensely satisfying theoretical exposition on the rise of Christianity and backs it up with historical data. This book is sure to aggravate the myriad of social scientists who study religion with only ad hoc theoretical frameworks and who use selective data to fit their "explanations." Many religious studies scholars will consider this book "dangerous" simply because it is rigorous and challenges their ad hoc explanations. (Isn't it ironic that intellectuals would consider ideas dangerous?!). I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in how religious organizations grow and expand. Stark's work not only explains why Christianity fared so well in its first several centuries, but helps us understand contemporary movements such as the Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses. This is historical social science at its best and a must read for anyone interested in the scientific study of religion and/or social movements. Bravo!!
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