|The Case for the Crusades |
Dr. Rodney Stark is a respected sociologist, professor, and author. An expert on both religion and sociology, Stark currently serves as Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences and Co-Director of the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University.
Rodney Stark grew up in Jamestown, North Dakota, and began his career as a newspaper reporter. Following a tour of duty in the U.S. Army, he received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, where he held appointments as a research sociologist at the Survey Research Center and at the Center for the Study of Law and Society. He left Berkeley to become Professor of Sociology and of Comparative Religion at the University of Washington. In 2004 he joined the faculty of Baylor University.
Dr. Stark has published 30 books and more than 140 scholarly articles on subjects as diverse as prejudice, crime, suicide, and city life in ancient Rome. However, the greater part of his work has been on religion. Some of his recent books, such as The Rise of Christianity (Princeton University Press, 1996) and The Victory of Reason (Random House, 2005) have garnered the attention of both scholarly publications and the popular press. His works have been applauded by publications such as Christianity Today, The Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly,American Journal of Sociology, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion,The New Criterion, Newsweek, The New York Times, The [London] Times Literary Supplement, and Forbes. Stark’s books are praised by respected thinkers such as the late Richard John Neuhaus (editor of First Things), George Weigel (Ethics and Public Policy Center) and Laurence Iannaccone (Koch Professor of Economics, George Mason University).
Dr. Stark’s latest book, God’s Battalions: The Case for the Crusades (HarperOne, 09/09), examines common misconceptions about the so-called Dark Ages, little-reported facts of the Christian crusades, and the true state of relations between Muslims and Christians for the past thousand years. Stark believes most great developments of Western culture are attributable to the Christian Church, and this new volume continues to unfold evidence of this truth as well as evidence that the so-called Dark Ages were actually a time of great technological advancement.
Rodney Stark is past president of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion and of the Association for the Sociology of Religion. He also won a number of national and international awards for distinguished scholarship, has received several honorary degrees, and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 1996 for The Rise of Christianity. Many of his books have been translated into foreign languages including Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish, Slovene, and Turkish.