A Critical Review of Economic Analyses of Religion

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Author: 
Vikas Kumar
Description: 
WP-2008-023
JEL codes: 
Abstract: 
Recent years have seen increasing interest in economic analyses of religion. We carry out a critical review of Economics of Religion (EoR) in this review essay. We find that on the one hand EoR has made a significant contribution to enhance our understanding of secular trappings of religion and to break the stranglehold of non-rational approach to religion. On the other it has failed systematically to address the core of religion, namely, belief in its purportedly supernatural basis. Furthermore the methodological foundations of EoR are far from settled. We identify the shortcomings of the literature and suggest remedial measures, wherever possible.