University of Leicester
Browse
MTSR 2012-03-23 HE and Stories of Jacob.pdf (430.51 kB)

Homo Economicus and the Stories of Jacob: On the Methodological Relevance of Rational Choice Theory for Studying the Hebrew Bible

Download (430.51 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 2012-10-31, 14:44 authored by Sigmund Wagner-Tsukamoto
Economics is widely accused of being a portrayer of a dark and dismal image of human nature (i.e. its model of homo economicus as a self-interested, even selfish and opportunistic maximizer of its own gains). This paper argues that the model of homo economicus is not an empirical or prescriptive image of human nature but a useful, “heuristic”, methodical instrument for economic theorizing (in our case, for the economic study of religion that connects to the Hebrew Bible). The paper demonstrates that in generic, methodological perspective, the model of homo economicus compares well to similarly unrealistic, “dismal” models of human nature in other disciplines that study religion. I develop these arguments by focusing on selective stories from Genesis, especially the stories of Jacob. Implications are derived regarding the application of economic methods and concepts for research on the texts of the Hebrew Bible.

History

Citation

Method and Theory in the Study of Religion, 2013, 25 (1)

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCE/School of Management

Version

  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Method and Theory in the Study of Religion

Publisher

Brill Academic Publishers

issn

0943-3058

eissn

1570-0682

Copyright date

2013

Available date

2013-01-01

Publisher version

http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/brill/mtsr

Language

en

Usage metrics

    University of Leicester Publications

    Categories

    Keywords

    Exports

    RefWorks
    BibTeX
    Ref. manager
    Endnote
    DataCite
    NLM
    DC