Some ideas are so potent as to be world-changing. For Rodney Stark, Christianity encompasses just such a set of ideas. In his view, Christian beliefs and images of God shaped the course of Western civilization. And not only that; they changed it for the better.
Stark is a leading sociologist of religion who draws on a formidable body of empirical research to explain how religious beliefs spread and why religious groups flourish or fail. While some thinkers regard belief in the supernatural as incidental to the practice of religion, Stark finds it essential.