Authority and Freedom: Economics and Secularization

Steve Bruce*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

7 Citations (Scopus)


Churches have not been simply passive victims or beneficiaries of economic change. Some religious organizations have been large enough to influence the economy. The great European monasteries were agricultural as well as spiritual powerhouses. Most religions have some sort of resource that has to be managed. The Church of Christian Science protects and promotes the works of Mary Baker Eddy. The Church of Scientology puts considerable effort into protecting the copyright of L. Ron Hubbard’s writings. They may have particular principles that constrain them-nineteenth-century Methodist chapel trustees, for example, would not hire out their halls for social events that involved drinking alcohol or gambling-but like any secular organization, churches have to deal with matters that fall into the remit of economics. The most common subject debated by the trustees of Methodist chapels was not the advance of Methodism or the spiritual needs of the people: it was the cost of repairing or replacing the heating system.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReligions as Brands
Subtitle of host publicationNew Perspectives on the Marketization of Religion and Spirituality
EditorsJean-Claude Usunier, Jörg Stolz
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781315605081
ISBN (Print)9781409467557, 9781138546240
Publication statusPublished - 28 Dec 2013

Publication series

NameAHRC/ESRC Religion and Society Series


Dive into the research topics of 'Authority and Freedom: Economics and Secularization'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this