- The Oxford Handbook of the Study of Religion
- List of Figures and Tables
- List of Contributors
- Historicizing and Translating Religion
- Theories of Religion
- Religion and Spirituality
- Cognitive Science
- Evolutionary Theory
- Feminism and Gender Theory
- Social Theory
- Gift and Sacrifice
- Initiations and Transitions
- Priests, Prophets, Sorcerers
- The Disintegration and Death of Religions
- Individualization and Privatization
- Tradition and Innovation
- Objectification and Commodification
- Syncretism and Hybridization
- Index of Names
- Index of Subjects
Abstract and Keywords
The chapter provides an overview of economics as an academic discipline, particularly with regard to the study of religion. Three of economics’ driving forces are explored with regard to religion: (a) the household and its productions, (b) the market and its miraculous workings, and (c) the self-interested Homo oeconomicus and his actions. In each field, the inclusion of religion expands the understanding of the respective economic phenomenon. The authors present paradigms and axioms of economics and give a critical assessment, and provide a brief overview of alternative models (New Institutional Economics) that serve well for describing religious topics while benefitting from a religious-studies perspective to analyze the economy. With it, the economist’s perspective broadens and the endeavor becomes interdisciplinary. This approach is subsumed as Economics of Religion, with a multitude of topics, and theoretical/methodological diversity. The chapter presents basic concepts and scientific opportunities within this field of research.
Keywords: bounded rationality, Christian business ethics, homo oeconomicus, market theory of religion, new institutional economy, rational choice theory of religion, religion as dependent/independent variable, religious goods
Peter Seele is trained in economics, philosophy, and protestant theology. He worked as Assistant Professor at the Center of Religion, Economy and Politics at the University of Basel, Switzerland and currently works as Professor of Corporate Social Responsibility and Business Ethics at the Università della Svizzera in Lugano, Switzerland.
Lucas Zapf currently is postdoctoral fellow at the Università della Svizzera italiana, Switzerland. His research revolves around the influence of market economy on its agents and how religion is involved.
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