Rational Choice Theory and Religion
Summary and Assessment
Rational Choice Theory and Religion considers one of the major developments in the social scientific paradigms that promises to foster a greater theoretical unity among the disciplines of sociology, political science, economics and psychology. Applying the theory of rational choice--the theory that each individual will make her choice to maximize gain and minimize cost--to the study of religion, Lawrence Young has brought together a group of internationally renowned scholars to examine this important development within the field of religion for the first time.
Lawrence A.Young is Associate Professor of Sociology at Brigham Young University. He is the co-author of Full Pews and Empty Altars (1993) and co-editor Contemporary Mormonism (1994) .
"History without large-scale explanatory models is just one damn thing after another. This collection of essay provides a very useful intoduction to one such model that deserves our attention." -- The Journal of Religion Vol 78, No 2
"This book both serves as an excellent introduction to rational choice theory and helps to fram future research agendas fro scholars already working in the field." -- Anthony Gill Journal of the Scientific Study of Religion
"This collection of essays offers to those new to the social scientific study of religion a solid and fair depiction of rational choice theory. Valuable not only as an introduction to rational choice theory, this book also offers applications and assessments of the limitations of the theory through discussions of religious choice, preference, and behavior. Graduate students new to this theoretical framework would find this book highly beneficial, as would any reader interested in the study of methods and theory." -- Religious Studies Review
"This slim volume brings together several sogent articles arguing for and against the approach. It is both a one-stop overview of the subdiscipline's purported new paradigm and a source of its cogent critique. As such, I recommend it highly... All of these articles are well chosen, concise, and stimulating... for a brief summary and assessment of the rational-choice approach to the sociology of religion by some of its best practitioners and critics, this book has no peer." -- Contemporary Sociology
"This book is tremendously important for the sociology of religion and as a harbinger of rational-choice theory's wider sociological prospects." -- American Journal of Sociology