*Marketplace of the Gods*

The author is Larry Witham and the subtitle is How Economics Explains Religion.  It's a good book, and my favorite passage was this:

[Larry] Iannaccone was born in Buffalo into a family of Italian immigrants.  Earlier in the century, the family had broken from Catholicism to join a dissenting branch of the Jehovah's Witnesses, which itself had splintered off from the early Adventists.  It was rich American church history, and young Iannaccone had a front-row seat on the sectarian religious experience for eighteen years of his life.  Still, his father had a Columbia University Ph.D. in education.  He was a "wandering academic," who went to jail as a conscientious objector, set up summer church camps, and taught at several universities.  The family ended up at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Laurence went off to Stanford to study mathematics.  Then in 1977 he headed for Chicago, considering pure mathematics but not exactly enthused.  Looking for alternatives, he had an interview with James Coleman, the noted sociologist.  Coleman said that sociology was in utter disarray: "You should think in terms of economics," he advised. "Rational-choice economics."


Comments for this post are closed