Association for the Study of Religion, Economics,
and Culture
Welcome to ASREC

The Association for the Study of Religion, Economics, and Culture exists to promote interdisciplinary scholarship on religion through conferences, workshops, newsletters, websites, working papers, teaching, and research. ASREC supports all manner of social-scientific methods, but seeks especially to stimulate work based on economic perspectives and the rational choice paradigm.

What is the economic study of religion?

The economic study of religion comprises a variety of subfields, which collectively embrace all aspects of the social-scientific study of religion. It is by no means limited to questions concerning the commercial economy or monetary aspects of religion.

  • Studies of the current and historic role of religion in advancing or impeding economic development, social progress, moral development, scientific and technology advances, and so forth.

  • Economic studies of religious beliefs, behavior, and institutions. (Examples: Explanations for conversion and commitment that emphasize choice and rationality over irrationality and indoctrination. Rational explanations for the success of “extreme,” “fundamentalist,” and “conservative” groups and weakness of more “liberal,” “mainstream” groups.)

  • Theoretical and observed differences between different forms of religion. (E.g., religion versus “magic”, and monotheism versus polytheism. Why Christianity displaced Greco-Roman paganism, and why polytheism is less morally constraining than monotheism.)

  • Studies of religious “markets”. (E.g., Alternatives to traditional “secularization” theory that emphasize the centrality of innovation, entrepreneurship, and competition in the “religious marketplace.” Market-oriented explanations for America’s religious vitality versus Europe’s religious decline.)

  • Studies of religious commitment and religious groups influence the well-being of individuals, families, youth, communities, and nations.

  • Studies of religious trends, the personal and social determinants of religiosity, and the relationship between religious and political/social/economic attitudes.

  • Policy implications regarding the state regulation of religion, religious liberty, church-state relationships, the treatment of minority and deviant faiths, etc.

**ASREC 2015 Conference**
ASREC 2015 will take place March 20-22, 2015 at the historic Omni Parker House Hotel in Boston, MA. Learn more.

4th Annual IRES Graduate Workshop
The 4th Annual IRES Graduate Student Workshop will take place May 29-30 at Chapman University in Orange, CA. [ More information | Flyer ]

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Tools from The ARDA
Map congregations and demographics using 2009 data on congregations and 2007 census data.
Enter a ZIP code or city/state [e.g. Seattle, WA] for a map:
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