Keeping Faith, Losing Faith: Religious Belief and Political Economy

Keeping Faith, Losing Faith: Religious Belief and Political Economy. 2008. Edited by Bradley Bateman and H. Spencer Banzhaf. Supplement to volume 40 of HOPE. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

"Keeping Faith, Losing Faith: An Introduction," by Bradley Bateman and H. Spencer Banzhaf (pp. 1–20). The period from the mid-1800s to the mid-1900s did not involve a sudden transition, or even a steady progression, to a nonreligious economics, calling into question the notion that the secularization of economics was only a specific instance of a broader secularization of the West.

Part 1. Continental Europe

"Religion and Political Economy in Early-Nineteenth-Century France," by Gilbert Faccarello and Philippe Steiner (pp. 26–61). Religion became an integral part of the liberal view of political economy in France, as seen in the works of Bastiat, Chevalier, and Dunoyer.

"The Ascent and Decline of Catholic Economic Thought, 1830–1950s," by António Almodovar and Pedro Teixeira (pp. 62–87). The French Revolution and other momentous events prompted a reconstruction of Catholic economic thought and the effort to develop a network of Catholic thinkers whose goal was to transform society and the economy.

"Revealing the Connection between the Gospel and History: The Definition of 'Economics at the Service of Humankind' in the Analysis of Francesco Vito," by Daniela Parisi (pp. 88–113). Vito helped bring about the acceptance of the autonomy of earthly reality so well expressed in the "Gaudium et Spes" of Vatican II.

Part 2. The United Kingdom

"The Changing Theological Context of Economic Analysis since the Eighteenth Century," by A. M. C. Waterman (pp. 121–42). Although the change from a sacral to a secular society was long and gradual, there were a few sharp discontinuities in the theological context, discontinuities that can be correlated with changing approaches to economic analysis.

"'A Hard Battle to Fight': Natural Theology and the Dismal Science, 1820–50," by Harro Maas (pp. 143–67). Jones's and Whewell's own views on the structuring role of natural theology for political economy motivated their criticism of the method followed by the Ricardians.

"An Inquiry into the Nature and Effects of Henry Thornton's Christian Faith on the Existence and Content of His Economic Writings," by Neil T. Skaggs (pp. 168–88). Thornton had a wholehearted devotion to God and to doing God's work, even though he kept theology and economics separate.

"'Losing My Religion': Sidgwick, Theism, and the Struggle for Utilitarian Ethics in Economic Analysis," by Steven G. Medema (pp. 189–211). Sidgwick's crisis of faith and his attempt to devise a nonreligious ethical basis for social life affected his work in economics and, ultimately, the Cambridge welfare tradition.

"Faith, Morality, and Welfare: The English School of Welfare Economics, 1901–29," by Roger E. Backhouse (pp. 212–36). Although their religious beliefs differed substantially, Hobson, Tawney, and Clay all sought explicitly to maintain a space for religious beliefs within economics.

Part 3. The United States

"Das Adam Smith Problem and Faculty Psychology in the Antebellum North," by Stewart Davenport (pp. 243–64). The antebellum paradigm of faculty psychology provides a useful vocabulary for addressing the Adam Smith problem.

"From Religious Revivals to Tariff Rancor: Preaching Free Trade and Protection during the Second American Party System," by Stephen Meardon (pp. 265–98). The connections between evangelical and national party purposes were established by the imperative of moral reform arising from the Second Great Awakening.

"The Impact of Liberal Religion on Richard Ely's Economic Methodology," by Donald E. Frey (pp. 299–314). The roots of Ely's methodology are in his German mentors, who were greatly influenced by German liberal religion.

"The Religion of a Skeptic: Frank H. Knight on Ethics, Spirituality, and Religion during His Iowa Years," by Ross B. Emmett (pp. 315–37). Knight's central message about applying Christian ethics to the modern world emerged from the use of a personal ethic to evaluate human action and the substitution of a moral authority structure for personal decision making.