Stolz Jörg (eds.) Salvation goods and religious markets : theory and applications, Lang Peter, 2008, 287 p.
The idea that religion has to succeed in a «market», selling «salvation goods», has proved to be extremely attractive to scholars in sociology and the study of religion. Max Weber used the term «salvation good» to compare different religious traditions. Pierre Bourdieu employed the term in order to analyze «religious economy». And recently, an American group of researchers advocating «rational choice of religion» put the theme at the forefront of current debates.
This book – the fruit of an International Congress in Lausanne in April 2005 – brings together leading specialists in the fields of sociology and the study of religion who discuss the terms «salvation goods» (or religious goods) and «religious market». The authors test the applicability of these concepts by using specific examples and they either deliberately advocate or criticize Weberian, Bourdieusian or rational-choice perspectives.