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May 2, 2018 / C H Thompson

Religious market theory

Stark and Bainbridge are they key thinkers of the religious market theory. They are critical of the secularisation theory and see it as ‘eurocentric’, meaning that it focuses on the decline of religion in Europe, but it fails to explain its continuing vitality in America and elsewhere.

They argue also that there wasn’t a golden age of religion like secularisation theorists argue.

Stark and Bainbridge propose the religious market theory:

  • People are naturally religious and religion meets human needs, therefore the demand for religion remains constant.
  • It is in human nature to seek rewards and avoid costs, people make choices and they weigh up the benefits of different available options



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