‘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...

Calvin Coolidge on the spiritual power of Christmas

In his many addresses to the nation, President Calvin Coolidge made a point of routinely redirecting the country’s attention to the “things of the spirit.” In his Thanksgiving Day Proclamation, he encouraged the country to reorient its vision of abundance, progressing not only in material prosperity, but also “in moral and spiritual things.” In his reflections on the Declaration of Independence, he reminded us that ours is a liberty not meant for “pagan materialism,” which would surely turn our prosperity into “a barren sceptre in our grasp.” Years earlier, as President of the Massachusetts Senate, he urged legislators to remember that “statutes must appeal to more than material welfare.” “Man has a spiritual nature,” he continued. Continue Reading...

All is gift: Embracing the divine generosity of Christmas

Throughout the Christmas season, we are routinely reminded of our “gift nature,” whether through the transfer of presents, the confluence of family gatherings, the creative flurry of plays and performances, or, most importantly, the central story of the One who gives it all meaning in the first place. Continue Reading...