Economics of Martyrdom

Although purporting to be a post about the “economics of religion,” EconLog’s Bryan Caplan discusses what is really the “economics of martyrdom,” or, to be even more accurate, the “economics of a particular type of ‘martyrdom,’ suicide terrorism.” Caplan’s comments are in reaction to a paper by Lawrence Iannaccone, “The Market for Martyrs.” The pressing question, according to Caplan, is “How come American opponents of abortion engage in almost no terrorism, much less suicidal terrorism?” And his answer is, “Despite their fiery rhetoric, almost no Americans want to go to jail or die just to stop abortion.” Apparently self-interest is at work. Continue Reading...

Study of Clerical Careers

Courtesy of Pulpit & Pew comes Factors Shaping Clergy Careers: A Wakeup Call for Protestant Denominations and Pastors, by Patricia M. Y. Chang (HT: Mere Comments). This study is based on surveys conducted primarily with mainline Protestant denominations. Continue Reading...

Survival of the Metaphysically Fittest

Crux Magazine, a new e-zine and sister publication of Touchstone Magazine, has an insightful analysis and summary of some of the recent trends in scientific studies of religion. In “Survival of the Metaphysically Fittest,” John D. Continue Reading...