Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Economic and Religious Choice: A Case-Study from Early Christian Communities

Gotsis, George and Drakopoulos, Stavros A. (2008): Economic and Religious Choice: A Case-Study from Early Christian Communities.

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Abstract

The aim of this paper is to elaborate an evaluative framework of religious choice within the early Christian communities reconstructed through the narrative of a New Testament Epistle, 2Peter, based on an economic approach to moral dilemmas identified in this context. Thus the work concentrates on the stances, attitudes and social practices of deviant members who engaged in free-riding within early Christian congregations and were exposed to serious self-control problems. In our attempt to employ economic theories of religion, we are in a position to better assess the efficiency of early Christian responses to the entry of competing groups in the religious market of this era, as well as to identify and explore the sort of criteria that determine the intertemporal choices of distinct religious actors.

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