Pope Francis’s attack on ‘libertarian individualism’ not about libertarians

The following essay appeared Friday, May 5, 2017, at Crux. In a recent message by Pope Francis to the Pontifical Academy of Social Science he outlines some moral concerns about a phenomenon he sees as invading (his term) “high levels of culture and education in both universities and in schools,” namely “libertarian individualism.” On the first day of my philosophy classes, the professor admonished us that if we want to have an intelligent discussion or debate, we must begin by defining our terms. Continue Reading...

‘What Good Markets Are Good For’

As of this month, I have joined the “What Good Markets Are Good For: Towards a Moral Justification of Free Markets” project as a postdoctoral researcher in theology and economics. The project is a multi-year, multifaceted endeavor, focusing on the central claim that “societies with free-market economies flourish because and in so far as the key market actors (states, businesses and individuals) respect morality, and act virtuously.” The project is headed by Govert Buijs at the VU University Amsterdam, and includes partner institutions from across the Netherlands. Continue Reading...

Ben Sasse on Christian witness in an age of disruption

In an age of continuous economic disruption and social fragmentation, what can possibly hold society together? Many are quick to turn to politics for such answers, pushing for increased price controls, trade barriers, and subsidies to prevent or mitigate the effects of such change. Continue Reading...

New Issue of the Journal of Markets & Morality (19.2)

The most recent issue of the Journal of Markets & Morality, vol. 19, no. 2, has been published online and print copies are in the mail. This issue features the publication of Acton’s 2015 Novak Award winner Catherine Pakaluk’s lecture, “Dependence on God and Man: Toward a Catholic Constitution of Liberty,” in addition to our regular slate of peer-reviewed articles. Continue Reading...

Reordering the loves: How vocation redeems our self-interest

“The economic order, in light of the doctrine of vocation, becomes a complex network of individual human beings loving and serving each other according to their God-given gifts and abilities. The division of labor is transfigured into a labor of love.” –Gene Veith “Martin Luther” by Lucas Cranach der Ältere (Public Domain) In his latest book, Working for Our Neighbor, Gene Veith explores a Lutheran understanding of work, vocation, and economics, concluding that, for the Christian, work and vocation are God’s design for serving the people around us. Continue Reading...

Saltiness and social justice

Does the theological conservatism of a church help or hinder its chances for growth? And what, if any, impact might that have on its social and political witness? In a new research study, sociologist David Haskell and historian Kevin Flatt explore the first of these questions. Continue Reading...