Edited by Daromir Rudnyckyj & Filippo Osella

religion and the morality of the market; anthropological perspectives
ISBN: 9781316888704

Since the collapse of the Berlin Wall, there has been a widespread affirmation of economic ideologies that conceive the market as an autonomous sphere of human practice, holding that market principles should be applied to human action at large. In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, the ascendance of market reason has been countered by calls for reforms of financial markets and for the consideration of moral values in economic practice. Religion and the Morality of the Market intervenes in these debates by showing how neoliberal market practices engender new forms of religiosity, and how religiosity shapes economic actions. It reveals how religious movements and organizations have reacted to the increasing prominence of market reason in unpredictable, and sometimes counterintuitive, ways. Using a range of examples from different countries and religious traditions, the book illustrates the myriad ways in which religious and market moralities are closely imbricated in diverse global contexts.


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Reviews:Anne Koch on Religous Studies Review wrote:

This materially rich volume examines worldwide case studies from the perspective of economic anthropology and typically refrains from making generalizations about the interrelations between religion, morality and markets. In line with critics of secularization theory, it proceeds from the strong claim that economic markets and practices reveal new present moralities affiliating with either religious reaction or active utilization of markets. Despite supposed rationalization, disenchantment and privatization, religious modalities not only contingently reappear within economic activities but are “ enabled by the language and logic of the market.” This occurs in myriad ways to connect the local and the global under the pressure of a single globalized economic system. By morality the editors understand the inescapable underlying sociality of markets and mount an argument against explanations of cultural change based on economic reasons only. [...] Morality is addressed either discursively (in the sense, for instance, that religion cures the amorality of markets or is an accomplice of economic progress) or as a specific rule system (charities, religious banking, narratives like prosperity theologies, professional ethics). The articles show that religious market competition is as vivid outside as inside the United States [...] Religious practices and institutions that cope “best” with neoliberal moralities, or are even congruent with them, are said to be growing most intensely on a global level, a phenomenon that is historically not new. Therefore, commodification within religion does not need economic liberalization to happen and requires more complex explanations. This book by a multinational team may be recommended to readers who are already familiar with basic discussions in the field of economics of religion and who appreciate the challenge of making more subtle differentiations with each rich and contingent local case."

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