The world's "great" religions depend on traditions of serious scholarship, dedicated to preserving their key texts but also to understanding them and, therefore, to debating what understanding itself is and how best to do it.
They also have important public missions of many kinds, and their ideas and organizations influence many other important institutions, including government, law, education, and kinship.
The Anthropology of Western Religions: Ideas, Organizations, and Constituencies is a comparative survey of the world's major religious traditions as professional enterprises and, often, as social movements.
Documenting the principle ideas behind Western religious traditions from an anthropological perspective, Murray J.
Leaf demonstrates how these ideas have been used in building internal organizations that mobilize or fail to mobilize external support.