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Religion and Entrepreneurship: a match made in heaven?

Paul Seabright
p. 201-219

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Trust in the company of strangers The puzzle of large-scale human cooperation
Where not to look for an explanation
Enchantment as an adaptive, pro-cooperative feature of our prehistoric brains
The necessity of an evolutionary explanation
The psychological mechanisms
Robustness against exploitation
Two approaches to religion and entrepreneurship

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Funding from the ANR Labex Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse is gratefully acknowledged.

There is a very old question in social science about whether religion is favorable or antithetical to economic activity. There have of course been ascetic currents within all of the world’s major religions. Right up to the present day, denunciations of the commercial spirit, and more generally of the excesses associated with economic development, can be heard from within virtually all religious traditions. Conversely, there have been prosperous adherents of all the major religions who have argued fervently that their religion was an essential ingredient in their economic success. However, the interesting question is not whether religion can be used to support either a favorable or an unfavorable attitude to economic activity – of course it can do either. It is whether there is something intrinsic either to the religious attitude, or to the cultural presuppositions embedded in some or all o...

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Paul Seabright, « Religion and Entrepreneurship: a match made in heaven? », Archives de sciences sociales des religions, 175 | 2016, 201-219.

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Paul Seabright, « Religion and Entrepreneurship: a match made in heaven? », Archives de sciences sociales des religions [En ligne], 175 | juillet-septembre 2016, mis en ligne le 01 octobre 2018, consulté le 15 décembre 2019. URL : ; DOI : 10.4000/assr.27991

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Paul Seabright

Toulouse School of Economics, Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse,

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