Acts of Faith: Explaining the Human Side of Religion

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University of California Press, 2000 - Social Science - 343 pages
1 Review
"Acts of Faith is the single 'big book' in the sociology of religion in the past decade, a monumental effort that both demolishes old theories and creates brilliant new ones. Stark and Finke have mastered the literature in the field, gathered ingenious data analysis to sustain their positions, and presented their work with flair, imagination, and brilliance. Though it is quite impossible to turn around the social science profession completely with a single book, or indeed within a single decade, these two authors have achieved a powerful beginning in this task. This landmark publication marks a turning point."--Andrew M. Greeley, University of Chicago

"This book is a major next step in developing the sociology of religion's 'new paradigm'--an important summary of the evolving 'religious economies' theory. Stark and Finke's spirited deconstruction of antireligious secularization theories and other theories of 'irrational' religion is simply delightful. And its own constructive theory offers a valuable resource for those friendly to the rational choice approach to religion, as well as a continuing challenge to its critics."--Christian Smith, University of North Carolina
 

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User Review  - tsryan - LibraryThing

This is a good read for anyone interested in the sociology of religion. Stark and Finke's introduction of the concept of religious economies is particularly interesting, and a thought provoking argument for why some societies seem more secularized than others. Read full review

Contents

Atheism Faith and the Social Scientific Study of Religion
1
Rationality and the Religious Mind
42
The Micro Foundations of Religion
83
Conversion and Reaffiliation
114
Decline and Revival
169
An International Assessment
218
ChurchtoSect Movements
259
propos1t1ons and definitions
277
NOTES
287
REFERENCES 25
295
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About the author (2000)

Rodney Stark is Professor of Sociology and Comparative Religion at the University of Washington. Among his many books are The Rise of Christianity (1996), The Future of Religion: Secularization, Revival, and Cult Formation (California, 1985), and, with Roger Finke, The Churching of America, 1776-1990: Winners and Losers in Our Religious Economy (1992). Roger Finke is Professor of Sociology at Pennsylvania State University.

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