After some delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the newest issue of the Journal of Markets & Morality is live on our website here. Print issues should be in the mail to subscribers sometime in the next few weeks.
This issue marks the final issue for executive editor and longtime Acton research fellow Dr. Kevin Schmiesing. In his editorial to the issue, he highlights the perennial difficulty of communicating complex and important ideas:
Spoken or written language is of course the medium by which most communication occurs, and language is inherently unstable, culture-bound, and socially constructed. To this extent, it must be conceded that perfect communication of thought or concept from one person to another is unachievable. There is a theological dimension to the problem: The Apostles’ ability at Pentecost to preach to a diverse multitude of auditors who each “heard them speaking in his own language” was an undoing of the cacophony introduced at the Tower of Babel, but it was an extraordinary event, temporary and incomplete. The incapacity to communicate fluently with each other remains an obstacle in human relations, even among those who purportedly speak the same language.
For years Dr. Schmiesing edited our weekly Acton Commentary and many books for Acton as well, including our Christian Social Thought series and my own book Foundations of a Free & Virtuous Society. When I completed my manuscript, Kevin was my first choice to edit it: I knew from experience that when he edits an author’s work, the end result is better than that person could have achieved on his or her own. With his help my own “incapacity to communicate fluently” did not deter from the final product. The absence of his mentorship and partnership I count as one of many losses in this tumultuous year.
Another such loss – and no less of a loss – is the departure of Dr. Andrew McGinnis from his role as our book reviews editor. Drew’s last issue was the second of last year (vol. 22, no. 2), though he had a hand in arranging many of the reviews for this present issue. His scholarly expertise, indefatigable work ethic, and unrelenting patience will be deeply missed.
We have also, beginning with this issue, had to suspend our associate editor role. I here extend my gratitude to Drs. Giovanni Patriarca, Antoinette Kankindi, Sarah Estelle, Hunter Baker, and Jude Chua Soo Meng for their invaluable service.
Dr. McGinnis’s role has been filled for this issue by Acton international relations assistant Joshua Gregor, whose linguistic expertise is also on display in our Status Quaestionis special feature: a discussion and translation of an essay on the economic concept of value by the nineteenth-century Spanish scholar Jaime Balmes.
While continuing as managing editor, I am now currently acting executive editor as well. My own research, as well as many other scholars’, including Acton senior research fellow Dr. Jordan Ballor, is on display in this issue as well in a special Symposium feature on economic terminology, the impetus for Dr. Schmiesing’s editorial. As a teaser to the discussion, I’ve made my own article on self-interest open access here.
Information regarding how to subscribe and subscription prices can be found here.