Despite belonging to an organization that recently celebrated its founder’s two thousandth birthday, some American Catholics exhibit the attention span of fruit flies when their faith impinges on their politics. Recent responses to Benedict XVI’s Caritas in Vertitate (“Charity in Truth”) closely parallel those that greeted the last economic encyclicals: John Paul II’s Sollicitudo rei socialis (“The Church’s Social Concern”) and Centesimus Annus (“On the Hundredth Anniversary” [of Leo XIII's Rerum Novarum]).
A Return to Augustinian Economics
The Preacher as Economist vs. "The Economist as Preacher"
A Faith & Law Lecture
Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C., 30 May 2008
I’d like to thank Faith & Law for spoiling its hitherto spotless record of excellence by inviting me to present one of its lectures. As you know, Faith & Law lectures are supposed to help Congressional staff better understand the implications of a Christian calling to the public square.
The Three World Views in Economics
Introductory remarks to the book awards panel
Templeton Enterprise Awards Symposium
Ethics and Public Policy Center — ISI
Washington, DC, 3 April 2008
Our book and article award panelists will span 2,300 years today and range from Aristotle to Augustine, Aquinas, Hume, Adam Smith, Kant, Tocqueville and Hannah Arendt to Michael Novak. I am an economist, not a philosopher. But there have been three basic theories of economics, expressing three corresponding world views, and I think it may help to spend a few minutes recalling their similarities and differences before beginning our discussion.
The Preacher as Economist vs. The Economist as Preacher
Keynote address to the Panel on “Economics and Secularism”
October 11, 2003
John D. Mueller1
I’d like to thank our sponsors—the James Madison Program at Princeton University, the Princeton University Center for Human Values, The Center for Research on Religion and Urban Society at the University of Pennsylvania, and The Providence Forum—for inviting me to participate in this conference on “Faith and the Challenges of Secularism.” As Seana—Dr. Sugrue—told you, I have a special attachment to the James Madison Program, having been in its first crop of Fellows two years ago. I am grateful to Prof. Robert George for taking the risk of planting me there; and to the Madison Program staff—Dr. Seana Sugrue, Jane Hale, Linda Kativa, Judi Rivkin and now Reggie Cohen—for tenderly nurturing the seedling while it was in their care.
John Paul II’s "Renewal" of the Church’s Economic Thought
My task is to serve as a springboard for discussion of the economic thought of John Paul II. Even apart from the fact that many people in this room are more qualified than I am, this is a lot to accomplish in 20 minutes. I plan only to touch on some broad themes, letting the Pope speak for himself as much as possible, and close by asking briefly how we might apply the ideas in our daily lives.