For the Glory of God, by Rodney Stark
This volume completes an ambitious two-part study of monotheism in Western culture that began with One True God: Historical Consequences of Monotheism (Princeton University Press, 2001). As with the previous effort, Rodney Stark's aim is to show that belief in one God--a supreme, personal and perfectly good Being--has exerted a definitive shaping influence on certain events and institutions in the West.
The reason for this impact lies in the unique character of monotheism, which differs fundamentally as a religious axiom from the chaotic, immoral polytheisms of primitive and classical cultures, as well as from the impersonal, godless Asian systems--Buddhist, Confucian and Taoist--that construe the divine as an amoral supernatural essence. Unlike these creeds, monotheist faith shows "immense capacities to mobilize human action," especially in the intellectual quest for truth and the moral pursuit of justice.
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