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What kind of animals are human beings? And how do our visions of the human shape our theories of social action and institutions? In Moral, Believing Animals, Christian Smith offers innovative, challenging answers to these and other fundamental questions in sociological, cultural, and religious theory. Smith's work is based on the assumption (unfashionable in certain circles) that human beings have an identifiable and peculiar set of capacities and proclivities that distinguishes them significantly from other animals on this planet. Smith argues that all people are at bottom believers, whose lives, actions, and institutions are constituted, motivated, and governed by narrative traditions and moral orders on which they inescapably depend. This approach - which has profound consequences for how we think about knowledge, culture, social action, institutions, religion, and the task of social sciences - will be of interest to scholars in sociology, social theory, religious and cultural studies, psychology, and anthropology.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780195162028
ISBN-10: 0195162021
Format: Hardback
(216mm x 147mm x 17mm)
Pages: 176
Imprint: Oxford University Press Inc
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Publish Date: 1-Jun-2003
Country of Publication: United States


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Author Biography - Christian Smith

William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society at the University of Notre Dame

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