Acts of Faith: Explaining the Human Side of Religion by Rodney Stark PDF

By Rodney Stark

ISBN-10: 0520222016

ISBN-13: 9780520222014

Finally, social scientists have began to aim to appreciate non secular habit instead of to discredit it as irrational, ignorant, or foolish—and Rodney Stark and Roger Finke have performed an immense function during this new method. Acknowledging that technological know-how can't examine the supernatural facet of faith (and consequently aren't declare to do so), Stark and Finke examine the observable, human facet of religion. In transparent and fascinating prose, the authors mix particular theorizing with lively discussions as they stream from contemplating the religiousness of people to the dynamics of non secular teams after which to the spiritual workings of complete societies as spiritual teams contend for help. the result's a complete new paradigm for the social-scientific learn of religion.

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He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. (Mark :) And give glad tidings, O Muhammad, unto those who believe and do good works; that theirs are Gardens underneath which rivers flow. (Qur’a¯n, sura :) As this last quotation suggests, however, the major world religions not only promise rewards for devotion and belief in God, they also promise rewards for doing good to others. The best-known religious commands—including the Five Pillars of Islam and the Ten Commandments—offer explicit guidelines for action toward others as part of the obligation of the faithful, including actions that others might describe as altruistic: to sustain the needy and to avoid actions that may bring harm to others.

There are no exceptions. However different the means  PARADIGMS IN CONFLICT they employ, they all strive towards this goal. . This is the motive of every act of every man, including those who go and hang themselves” (Pensée no. ; [] , ). Most of the world’s religious scriptures abound in the language of exchange: O Indra . . may plentiful libations of the people, and singing sages’ holy prayers rejoice thee . . ) Make for Me an altar of earth and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your sacrifices of well-being, your sheep and your oxen; in every place where I cause My name to be mentioned I will come to you and bless you.

The real work is yet to be accomplished. Moreover, in constructing theories of many aspects of religion, we ourselves have rarely mentioned rationality. Consequently, we object to being identified as “Rational Choice Theorists,” as if we were initiates of some theoretical “sect” of crypto economists unable to deal with the subtleties of religious realities. We find nothing subtle in such hallowed fixtures of the old paradigm as the “irrational choice” theory of religion that traces everything to ignorance or psychopathology.

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Acts of Faith: Explaining the Human Side of Religion by Rodney Stark


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