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Faithful Economics

The Moral Worlds of a Neutral Science

James W. Henderson and John L. Pisciotta, editors

Publication Year: 2005

Economics is a value laden enterprise - and this despite the oft repeated claims of neutrality, objectivity, and the absence of bias. This volume explores the relationship between Christianity and economics, arguing that the two can and should be integrated. While no single Christian perspective drives the book, the authors do share in common a belief that scholarship shaped by Christian commitments is entirely appropriate and should be an integral part of the professional life of Christian economist. In particular, this volume demonstrates how Christianity shapes the worldview an economist brings to the task, the questions an economist asks, and the policies an economist advocates.

Published by: Baylor University Press

Front Matter

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Table of Contents

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Preface

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pp. vii-viii

Scholars from across the United States and around the world gathered for three days in November 2002 to examine the influence of Christian ideals and principles on economic thought. Conferees came from ten different countries and represented a diverse group of scholars not only in economics, but also theology,sociology, law, history, philosophy, and political science. ...

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Introduction: The Christian Perspective and Economic Scholarship

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pp. 1-14

With the secularization of U.S. higher education during the twentieth century, scholars of all faiths are challenged by an educational system that trivializes and even ignores religious belief. Within this new context, academe may accept personal religious beliefs but considers it inappropriate to relate those beliefs to academic work. Thus, it is critical for scholars with a faith perspective to understand ...

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Chapter 1. Faith-Informed Scholarship

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pp. 15-24

For the Christian perspective to become a relevant part of economic scholarship, economists must understand the appropriate ways to integrate their faith into their scholarship. The Christian perspective can make a difference—in the way economists view economics, the way they approach their research, and the importance they place on making their research count in the lives of real people....

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Chapter 2. The Christian Economist as a Mainstream Scholar

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pp. 25-34

To have influence in the academic discussion, it is important to excel in one’s discipline. It takes quality scholarship, as defined by the mainstream, to get a seat at the discussion table. Without the respect earned in the mainstream it is nearly impossible to get an audience when one attempts to interject a Christian worldview into the discussion.1...

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Chapter 3. Market Behavior and Christian Behavior

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pp. 35-50

The dominant tradition that economic behavior is motivated by rational self-interest is based on the notion that to be factual and predictive one must also be independent of any value position or normative judgment. Reliance on the narrow assumption of self-interested behavior, however, ignores the importance of certain rules of conduct that influence much of people’s interactions with one ...

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Chapter 4. The Economics of Racial Equality and Justice

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pp. 51-72

It is essential that Christian scholars, particularly economists, speak out on the important social issues that plague society. Fulfilling the advocacy role in public policy requires that Christians confront from a Christian perspective critical issues that affect people individually and collectively. If Christians focus on incentives and efficiency alone, they neglect the contribution that their spiritual ...

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Chapter 5. A Philosophy of Economics

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pp. 73-88

My philosophy of economics emerges, not from formal training in economics, but from my own particular experiences. I do not claim this to be a definitive “philosophy of economics,” only an expression of my intellectual journey from sympathy for collectivist control of the economy to embracing market capitalism fully as the most effective way to organize contemporary economies. ...

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Chapter 6. The Theology of Economics

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pp. 89-108

A value-neutral economics can be of no real benefit to society. Thus, it is important that Christian economists assert themselves in the academy. Modern economics offers its own worldview, one that stands in sharp contrast to the Christian worldview. The dominant view of economics as value-free is difficult to defend when it is understood that economics is itself a religion—worshiping at the altar of free enterprise and submitting to the gospel of efficiency and ...

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Chapter 7. The Economic Ethics of Jesus

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pp. 109-130

I rarely emphasize my denominational identity when I speak or write. I am by calling a Christian minister with a specialized service as a teacher–scholar in Christian ethics. I am by conviction an orthodox Christian, an irenic evangelical Christian, and a Baptist, probably in that order of loyalty and priority. ...

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Conclusion. Christianity and Economics: Connections and Continued Progress

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pp. 131-144

The previous essays are the outgrowth of the Baylor Christianity and Economics Conference around three themes: (1) Economist as Mainstream Scholar, (2) Economist as Policy Advocate, and (3) Economist as Philosopher. George M. Marsden sets the table with his framework for Christian scholarship in the academy. Judith M. Dean offers the perspective of the mainstream scholar. The policy ...

Bibliography

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pp. 145-152

List of Contributors

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pp. 153-155


E-ISBN-13: 9781602581289
E-ISBN-10: 1602581282
Print-ISBN-13: 9781932792225
Print-ISBN-10: 1932792228

Page Count: 175
Publication Year: 2005

Edition: 1st