Pro-life movement in Argentina prepares rallies as elections near https://t.co/veZfSFIWf4 @inesanma via @Crux
African American Students Respond to Southern Seminary’s Slavery Report https://t.co/rgPlMfCfI2 @CTMagazine quotes ISR's Thomas Kidd
Secularism isn’t the answer to Islamic extremism, but arguably its cause https://t.co/T2o5LNdGnE @JohnLAllenJr via @Crux
.@ReadingReligion review of Timothy Larsen's religious biography of John Stuart Mill https://t.co/TjBGVnjko3 @OUPReligion
Science and religion lecture Mar. 25: Dr. Denis Alexander - "Why Science Will Never Have the Answers to Life's Bigg… https://t.co/77n6S2zKDW
Racism, Slavery, and Original Sin https://t.co/ymlMTEZtek Philip Jenkins via @anxious_bench @PatheosEvang
Children of Light in an Age of Darkness https://t.co/GwtsV1rmxL Modern Age review of Alan Jacobs' The Year of Our L… https://t.co/Wk3jT53tHG
Two Professors Who Model Civil Discourse https://t.co/KbC5tRFpJX @McCormickProf @MadisonProgram @NRO
Can a Scientist Believe in Miracles? - Dr. Ian Hutchinson @Baylor Mar. 28 https://t.co/0GnvjR46Kq @GreatTexts
a return to Narnia – Alan Jacobs https://t.co/wKw2c45rWm

Calendar

Apr
10
Wed
2019
Anthony Gill Lecture @ Cox Lecture Hall, Armstrong Browning Library
Apr 10 @ 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm

The Comparative Endurance and Efficiency of Religion: A Public Choice Approach

Despite being the neglected child of the social sciences, the world’s major religious institutions and faith traditions have managed to survive longer than any secular political regime, dynasty, or empire in world history.  The Roman Catholic Church (and its Orthodox counterparts) have existed as formal hierarchical institutions for nearly two millennia, and the Vatican counts roughly one billion adherents among its contemporary constituency.  Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, and Islam have persisted in less hierarchical form for equally long (if not longer) periods of time with no prospect of disappearing soon.  Why?  And why wouldn’t social scientists want to explore this obvious fact?  I argue that religious institutions provide critical public goods (including social trust and order) without falling prey to what James Buchanan calls the “paradox of being governed.”  By having an external, non-partisan judge (God) as the final arbitrator of conflict, a system of justice that allows for flexibility, and autonomy for local congregations to provide public goods, religious institutions are less subject to injurious forms of rent-seeking that bedevil (and destroy) secular states.   A caveat about “state-sponsored churches” is provided and explains why connection to political power weakens the institutional efficiency and endurance of religious groups.

Calendar