The consequences of religious competition: Supply-side explanations for religious change

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Abstract

This chapter sketches how immanent values be incorporated by assumption in a rational choice theory of religion. The Sundance applications of rational choice theory assume that, even though they sometimes may produce distinctive kinds of goods, religious groups are faced with problems fundamentally similar to those of firms, clubs, and other voluntary associations. However, it extends to religious belief and religious experiences particularly the most dramatic experiences such as speaking in tongues, miraculous healings, prophetic utterances, and ecstatic trancesall of which are more sustainable and satisfying when experienced collectively. Religious behaviour potentially offers a rich lode of evidence about the difficulties in producing and marketing inscrutable goods, and about the salience of immanent values like uncertainty reduction that can help rational choice theorists to enrich their models, thereby making them empirically more robust. All told, religious commitments are sometimes far more intense and salient than secular social commitments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRational Choice Theory and Religion
Subtitle of host publicationSummary and Assessment
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Pages46-65
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781134953424
ISBN (Print)9780415911917
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)

Cite this

Finke, R. (2016). The consequences of religious competition: Supply-side explanations for religious change. In Rational Choice Theory and Religion: Summary and Assessment (pp. 46-65). Taylor and Francis. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315538877-10