In Marketplace of the Gods, award-winning journalist Larry Witham tells the inside story of the ground-breaking--and controversial--"economic approach" to religion, a story rich with history, contemporary thought, and the colorful people who are using economic ideas to solve the puzzles of our religious beliefs and behaviors. Written with an investigative flare and a lively writing style, this fascinating book presents a wide-ranging account of how the economic approach to religion can be applied to different faiths, activities, and times in history. Drawing upon cutting edge ideas from the behavioral sciences, and a deep knowledge of religious history, this new approach reveals how the choices individuals make regarding religion can shape households, groups, movements, and the entire "religious economies" of nations. For many, this new economic approach seems an uncomfortable mixture of sacred and profane, turning our good angels into grubby consumers. But as Witham concludes, the economic approach to religion has insights for everyone, believers and skeptics, offering an exciting exchange of ideas between economics, sociology, psychology, history, and theology.

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