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Contemporary Jewry

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 8–29 | Cite as

Religious extremism: Origins and consequences

  • Laurence R. Iannaccone
Article

Abstract

Economic perspectives enhance our understanding of religious beliefs, activities, and institutions. This essay outlines an economic theory of supernaturalism that accounts for the failure of secularization theories, the contrasting character of religion and magic, and the continued vitality of extremely demanding religious groups. Drawing upon insights that date back to Adam Smith, the theory also explains why extremism and state support often combine to produce religious militancy.

Keywords

Religious Group Religious Tradition Religious Organization Religious Institution Religious Freedom 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laurence R. Iannaccone
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsSanta Clara UniversityUSA

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