Business & Economics

Economics as Religion | ,

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In this study, Robert H. Nelson explores the genesis, the prophets, the prophesies, and the tenets of what he sees as a religion of economics that has come into full blossom in latter-day America. Nelson does not see "theology" as a bad word, and his examination of the theology underlying Samuelsonian and Chicagoan economics is not a put-down. It is a way of seeing the rhetoric of fundamental belief—what has been called "vision.".

History

The Economics of Religion in India | Sriya Iyer

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Religion is not a popular target for economic analysis. Yet the economist’s tools offer insights into how religious groups compete, deliver social services, and reach out to converts—how religions nurture and deploy market power. Sriya Iyer puts these tools to use in an expansive study of India, one of the world’s most religiously diverse nations..

Religion

The Oxford Handbook of the Economics of Religion | Rachel M. McCleary

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This is a one-of-kind volume bringing together leading scholars in the economics of religion for the first time. The treatment of topics is interdisciplinary, comparative, as well as global in nature. Scholars apply the economics of religion approach to contemporary issues such as immigrants in the United States and ask historical questions such as why did Judaism as a religion promote investment in education? The economics of religion applies economic concepts (for example, supply and demand) and models of the market to the study of religion. Advocates of the economics of religion approach look at ways in which the religion market influences individual choices as well as institutional development. For example, economists would argue that when a large denomination declines, the religion is not supplying the right kind of religious good that appeals to the faithful. Like firms, religions compete and supply goods. The economics of religion approach using rational choice theory, assumes that all human beings, regardless of their cultural context, their socio-economic situation, act rationally to further his/her ends. The wide-ranging topics show the depth and breadth of the approach to the study of religion..

Social Science

Religion and the Rise of Capitalism | R. H. Tawney

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A classic of political economy that traces the influence of religious thought on capitalism In one of the true classics of twentieth-century political economy, R. H. Tawney investigates the way religion has moulded social and economic practice. He tracks the influence of religious thought on capitalist economy and ideology since the Middle Ages, shedding light on the question of why Christianity continues to exert a unique role in the marketplace. The book offers an incisive analysis of the morals and mores of contemporary Western culture. In tough, muscular, richly varied prose, Tawney tells an absorbing and meaningful story. Today, the dividing line between the spheres of religion and the secular is shifting, and Religion and the Rise of Capitalism is more pertinent than ever..

Social Science

Twilight of the Money Gods | John Rapley

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Imagine one day you went to a cash-machine and found your money was gone. You rushed to your branch, where a teller said that overnight people had stopped believing in money, and it all vanished. Seem incredible? It happened, and it could happen again. Twilight of the Money Gods is the story of economics, told not as the science it strove to be, but as the religion it became. Over two centuries, it searched for the hidden codes which would reveal the path to a promised land of material abundance. While its prophets, from Adam Smith to John Maynard Keynes and Milton Friedman, concerned themselves with the human condition, its priesthood gradually grew remote from its followers, until it lost sight of their tribulations. Today, amid a crisis of faith in their expertise, we must re-imagine an economics for a new era - one filled with both danger and opportunity..

Business & Economics

Advances in the Economics of Religion | Jean-Paul Carvalho,Sriya Iyer,Jared Rubin

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This edited collection brings together expertise from around the globe to overview and debate key concepts and concerns in the economics of religion. While the economics of religion is a relatively new field of research in economics, economists have made and continue to make important contributions to the understanding of religion. There is much scope for economists to continue to make a significant contribution to debates about religion, including its implications for conflict, political economy, public goods, demography, education, finance, trade and economic growth..

Business & Economics

Economics And Religion: Are They Distinct? | H. Geoffrey Brennan,A.M.C. Waterman

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What is the relation between economics and religion? In particular, are theology and economics entirely autonomous and distinct areas of inquiry? Economics and Religion: Are They Distinct? takes an inductive approach using case studies to shed light on the extent to which economics may be regarded as independent of the religious beliefs of its practitioners. The case studies comprise the first part of the book and are listed chronologically. These case studies are followed by commentaries, or interpretive essays; the authors of these commentaries are acting as a jury to consider the question `How sensitive is economics to theological considerations?' The editors provide a concluding chapter summarizing both the evidence and the findings..

Social Science

Economics of Religion | Lionel Obadia,Donald C. Wood

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Explores the fresh paradigms of 'religious economics' and 'economies of religion' under the scope of transdisciplinary and international perspectives. This title examines and appraises some of the theoretical developments and methodological innovations in religious and social sciences..

Business & Economics

Belief Systems, Religion, and Behavioral Economics | Elizabeth A. Minton

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Religion is a topic that businesses often ignore, in spite of 70% of the world being religious. Whether the silence results from the taboo nature of the topic or the thought that religion is a separate domain from consumption and business, the scant attention cannot be denied. Many do not realize or simply resist the idea that religion is a key contributor to a consumer's core values, which then contribute to consumption decisions, voting practices, reaction to pro-social messages and public policy, as well as donating behavior. The field of behavioral economics discusses how various social and cognitive factors influence economic decision making, which encompasses consumer decision making in business and public policy. This field needs to incorporate religion as an influencer to economic decision making. To be able to manage a business effectively, or carry out public policy decisions, the influence of believe systems and religion must be taken into account. Thus, this book provides one of the first comprehensive investigations into the relation between religion and behavioral economics. It is relevant to current managers, anyone involved in the marketing, MBA students, and also upper-division undergraduate students. Each of these groups will benefit from a clear understanding of religious groups and how religion influences consumer decision making..

Business & Economics

The Oxford Handbook of Christianity and Economics | Paul Oslington

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Many important contemporary debates cross economics and religion, in turn raising questions about the relationship between the two fields. This book, edited by a leader in the new interdisciplinary field of economics and religion and with contributions by experts on different aspects of the relationship between economics and Christianity, maps the current state of scholarship and points to new directions for the field. It covers the history of the relationship between economics and Christianity, economic thinking in the main Christian traditions, and the role of religion in economic development, as well as new work on the economics of religious behavior and religious markets and topics of debate between economists and theologians. It is essential reading for economists concerned with the foundations of their discipline, historians, moral philosophers, theologians seeking to engage with economics, and public policy researchers and practitioners..

Religion

Is the Market Moral? | Rebecca M. Blank,William McGurn

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In the great tradition of moral argument about the nature of the economic market, Rebecca Blank and William McGurn join to debate the fundamental questions—equality and efficiency, productivity and social justice, individual achievement and personal rights in the workplace, and the costs and benefits of corporate and entrepreneurial capitalism. Their arguments are grounded in both economic sophistication and religious commitment. Rebecca Blank is an economist by training and describes herself as "culturally Protestant in the habits of mind and heart." She has also chaired the committee that wrote the statement on Christian faith and economic life adopted by the United Church of Christ. Addressing market failure, for her, requires that sometimes "freedom to choose" give way to other human values. William McGurn, a journalist and a Roman Catholic, uses his expertise in economics to reflect on the teachings of the church concerning the morality of the market. For McGurn, humans reach their fullest potential when they are free from the constraints of others. He writes that "our quarrel is not so much with Adam Smith or Milton Friedman but with the Providence that so clearly designed man to be his most prosperous at his most free." This book grapples with the new imperatives of a global economy while working in the classic tradition of political economy which always treated seriously the questions of morality, justice, productivity, and freedom..

Religion

The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to the Study of Religion | Nickolas P. Roubekas,Robert A. Segal

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Explore a rigorous but accessible guide to contemporary approaches to the study of religion from leading voices in the field The Wiley Blackwell Companion to the Study of Religion delivers an expert and insightful analysis of modern perspectives on the study of religion across the humanities and the social sciences. Presupposing no knowledge of the approaches examined in the collection, the book is ideal for undergraduate students who have yet to undertake extensive study in the humanities or social sciences. The book includes perspectives from those in fields as diverse as globalization, cognitive science, the study of emotion, law, esotericism, sex and gender, functionalism, terror, the comparative method, modernism, and postmodernism. Many of the topics covered in the book clearly hail from religious studies, while others are grounded in other areas of academia. All of the chapters contained within are written by recognized authors who show how their chosen discipline contributes to the understanding of the phenomenon of religion. This book also includes topics like: A comprehensive exploration of multiple approaches to religious study, including anthropology, economics, literature, phenomenology, philosophy, psychology, sociology, and theology A review of various topics germane to the study of religion, including the study of the body, cognitive science, the comparative method, death and the afterlife, law, magic, music, and myth A selection of subjects touching on modern trends in extremism and violence, including chapters on terror and violence, fundamentalism, and nationalism A discussion of the influence of modernism and postmodernism in religion Ideal for undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate students in humanities and social science programs taking courses on religion and myth, The Wiley Blackwell Companion to the Study of Religion will also earn a place in the libraries of specialists working in the fields of Religious Studies, Theology, Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology, Political Science, History, and Philosophy..

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Faith, Finance, and Economy | Tanweer Akram,Salim Rashid

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This open access book seeks to foster a multidisciplinary understanding of the ties between faith, financial intermediation, and economic progress by drawing on research across economics, finance, history, philosophy, ethics, theology, public policy, law, and other disciplines. Chapters in this edited volume examine themes as consequential as economic opportunities, real world outcomes and faith; values and consumerism; faith, financial intermediation and economic development in Western and Islamic societies; and the impact of faith issues on US workers, on the workplace and religion, and on the characteristics of good wealth. Though engaging with difficult questions, this book is written in an accessible style to be enjoyed by laypeople and scholars alike..

History

The Enchantments of Mammon | Eugene McCarraher

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Eugene McCarraher challenges the conventional view of capitalism as a force for disenchantment. From Puritan and evangelical valorizations of profit to the heavenly Fordist city, the mystically animated corporation, and the deification of the market, capitalism has hijacked our intrinsic longing for divinity, laying hold to our souls..

Religion

Marketplace of the Gods | Larry Witham

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Two centuries after Adam Smith illuminated the workings of the marketplace, a new movement among economists and social scientists is expanding his insights into a groundbreaking "economics of religion." Using cutting edge ideas from the behavioral sciences, and a deep knowledge of religious history, this new approach is making sense not only of past beliefs, but of religion today. In Marketplace of the Gods, award-winning journalist Larry Witham tells the inside story of this expanding "economic approach" to religion, the puzzles it tries to solve, the controversies it has stirred, and the people who are making it happen. He shows that the economic approach, while evoking images of stock markets or accounting ledgers, actually begins with a simple idea about human beings as rational actors, judging costs and benefits in life. Every life has limits, so human experience is a series of trade-offs, balancing resources to make choices for the best possible benefits. As the economics of religion shows, this model can be applied to the rich story of the human race and its gods. Beginning with the individual, the choices in religion shape households, groups, movements, and entire "religious economies" of nations. On the one hand, this mixing of the profane and the sacred, the economic and the religious, is an exciting exchange of ideas between economics, sociology, psychology, history, and theology. On the other, it has spurred a lively protest. Indeed, for some, the economic approach seems to transform our good angels into grubby consumers. As Witham shows, however, the economic approach to religion has insights for everyone, believers and skeptics alike. He illuminates this approach in a volume rich with ideas, history, contemporary events, and the insights of some of our sharpest modern-day thinkers..

Religion

Evangelicals Incorporated | Daniel Vaca

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American evangelicalism is big business. It is not, Daniel Vaca argues, just a type of conservative Protestantism that market forces have commodified. Rather evangelicalism is an expressly commercial practice, in which the faithful participate, learn, and develop religious identities by engaging corporations and commercial products..

Business & Economics

Economics as Religion | Robert H. Nelson

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Robert Nelson’s Reaching for Heaven on Earth, Economics as Religion, and The New Holy Wars: Economic Religion Versus Environmental Religion in Contemporary America read almost like a trilogy, exploring and charting the boundaries of theology and economics from the Western foundations of ancient Greece through the traditions that Nelson identifies as “Protestant” and “Roman,” and on into modern economic forms such as Marxism and capitalism, as well as environmentalism. Nelson argues that economics can be a genuine form of religion and that it should inform our understanding of the religious developments of our times. This edition of Economics as Religion situates the influence of his work in the scholarly economic and theological conversations of today and reflects on the state of the economics profession and the potential implications for theology, economics, and other social sciences..

Business & Economics

Economics, Ethics and Religion | R. Wilson

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Economics, Ethics and Religion - R. Wilson Preview:

There is a revival of interest by economists in ethical issues and beliefs, and by moral philosophers and theologians in economics. This book is intended to make a contribution to this cross-fertilisation of ideas. Rodney Wilson has undertaken an extensive survey of Jewish, Christian and Muslim views on economics, and reviewed the rapidly expanding business ethics literature from a religious perspective. The juxtaposition of the work of theologians and moral philosophers with that of economists results in some interesting comparisons..

Religion

Adam Smith as Theologian | Paul Oslington

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Adam Smith as Theologian - Paul Oslington Preview:

Adam Smith wrote in a Scotland where Calvinism, Continental natural law theory, Stoic philosophy, and the Newtonian tradition of scientific natural theology were key to the intellectual lives of his contemporaries. But what impact did these ideas have on Smith’s system? What was Smith’s understanding of nature, divine providence, and theodicy? How was the new discourse of political economy positioned in relation to moral philosophy and theology? In this volume a team of distinguished contributors consider Smith’s work in relation to its Scottish Enlightenment religious background, and offer stimulating theological interpretations of his account of fallible human nature, his providential account of markets, and his invisible hand metaphor. Adam Smith as Theologian it is a pioneering study which will alter our view of Smith and open up new lines of thinking about contemporary economics..

Business & Economics

Economics of Good and Evil | Tomas Sedlacek

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Economics of Good and Evil - Tomas Sedlacek Preview:

Tomas Sedlacek has shaken the study of economics as few ever have. Named one of the "Young Guns" and one of the "five hot minds in economics" by the Yale Economic Review, he serves on the National Economic Council in Prague, where his provocative writing has achieved bestseller status. How has he done it? By arguing a simple, almost heretical proposition: economics is ultimately about good and evil. In The Economics of Good and Evil, Sedlacek radically rethinks his field, challenging our assumptions about the world. Economics is touted as a science, a value-free mathematical inquiry, he writes, but it's actually a cultural phenomenon, a product of our civilization. It began within philosophy--Adam Smith himself not only wrote The Wealth of Nations, but also The Theory of Moral Sentiments--and economics, as Sedlacek shows, is woven out of history, myth, religion, and ethics. "Even the most sophisticated mathematical model," Sedlacek writes, "is, de facto, a story, a parable, our effort to (rationally) grasp the world around us." Economics not only describes the world, but establishes normative standards, identifying ideal conditions. Science, he claims, is a system of beliefs to which we are committed. To grasp the beliefs underlying economics, he breaks out of the field's confines with a tour de force exploration of economic thinking, broadly defined, over the millennia. He ranges from the epic of Gilgamesh and the Old Testament to the emergence of Christianity, from Descartes and Adam Smith to the consumerism in Fight Club. Throughout, he asks searching meta-economic questions: What is the meaning and the point of economics? Can we do ethically all that we can do technically? Does it pay to be good? Placing the wisdom of philosophers and poets over strict mathematical models of human behavior, Sedlacek's groundbreaking work promises to change the way we calculate economic value..