Moral, Believing Animals

Moral, Believing Animals : Human Personhood and Culture

3.78 (93 ratings by Goodreads)
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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 more

Product details

  • Hardback | 172 pages
  • 144.78 x 208.28 x 15.24mm | 272.15g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0195162021
  • 9780195162028

Review quote

"Well written and clearly argued, Moral Believing Animals is both a searching critique of recent social theory and an important first step toward the articulation of a richer model of human personhood, motivation, and culture." --INSight"A concise book that is enjoyable and easy to read, offering a far-reaching synthesis of a variety of philosophical and sociological approaches.... Smith masterfully situates many of the key current debates while calling attention to their historical origins and implicit assumptions." --Contemporary Sociology"An admirable model of wide-ranging and rich yet focused scholarship." --The Journal for the Scientific Study of Religionshow more

About 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 Dameshow more

Rating details

93 ratings
3.78 out of 5 stars
5 32% (30)
4 31% (29)
3 24% (22)
2 9% (8)
1 4% (4)
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