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SecularizationIn Defence of an Unfashionable Theory$
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Steve Bruce

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199654123

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199654123.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 September 2021

The Supply-Side Alternative

The Supply-Side Alternative

Chapter:
(p.141) 7 The Supply-Side Alternative
Source:
Secularization
Author(s):

Steve Bruce

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199654123.003.0007

This chapter examines a more radical challenge to the secularisation paradigm for explaining the decline of religion in the modern world: the supply-side model of religious change proposed by Rodney Stark and others. It first considers the basic assumptions of the economistic approach to human behaviour before turning to a discussion of the idea that such behaviour can be explained as attempts to maximise utility and whether it works for religion in the absence of conditions for rational choice. It then looks at the application of the economistic version of rational choice theory to a range of smaller problems in the sociology of religion. The chapter argues that the economist's version of rational choice will work for religion only in largely secular societies and does not really refute the secularisation paradigm.

Keywords:   secularisation, religion, Rodney Stark, supply-side model, religious change, human behaviour, utility, rational choice theory, sociology

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