Rodney Stark is an American sociologist of religion. He grew up in Jamestown, North Dakota, in a Lutheran family. He spent time in the U.S. Army and worked as a journalist before pursuing graduate studies at The University of California, Berkeley. After teaching at the University of Washington for 32 years, Stark moved to Baylor University in 2004, where he is co-director of the Institute for Studies of Religion. He is an advocate of the application of the Rational choice theory in the sociology of religion, which he calls the theory of religious economy.
Commemoration of Wilfrid, Abbot of Ripon, Bishop of York, Missionary, 709 Commemoration of Elizabeth Fry, Prison Reformer, 1845 While many Americans are still firmly committed to the traditional, supernatural conceptions of a personal God, a Divine Savior, and the promise of eternal life, the trend is away from these convictions. The fact is that a demythologized modernism is overwhelming the traditional Christ-centered, mystical faith. For the modern skeptics are not the apostates, village atheists, or political revolutionaries of old. The leaders of today's challenge to traditional beliefs are principally theologians -- those in whose care the church entrusts its sacred teachings.