Theodore Malloch on Spiritual Capital & Virtuous Business
Date: January 14th, 2013

In the light of recent business scandals involving the likes of Enron, Tyco, and Bernie Madoff, Research on Religion turns attention to the role that spiritual capital can play in America’s free enterprise system.  Dr. Theodore Malloch, a research professor at Yale University’s Center for Faith & Culture and CEO of The Global Fiduciary Governance LLC, joins us to discuss his most recent book on that topic aptly titled, America’s Spiritual Capital.  We begin with a bit of chat regarding the annual Davos meeting of important political and business leaders as Ted has served on the board of the World Economic Forum and has some insights into that high profile, albeit sometimes secretive, gathering.  We then dive into the world of spiritual capital, definining it is relation to the other types of capital that economists often talk about.  This moves us into a discussion about America’s “modernity project” and how the United States was able to produce such phenomenal technological growth over the past two hundred years.  Ted links innovation, economic freedom, political freedom, and limited government to a responsible use of freedom that rests upon a Judeo-Christian foundation.  He makes an excellent point that economists often forget about the cultural underpinnings of a free society.  He spells out a number of cultural traits that differentiate our modern times from the feudal era, with a focus on personal autonomy among other things.  This personal autonomy helps to provide the eventual cultural milieu that leads to the demise of slavery and the rise of entrepreneurship.  Our conversation also weaves its way through the tension between fostering liberty and promoting equality, with Dr. Malloch having some interesting points to make with respect to that debate.  We then move on to a discussion of virtue in the business world with Ted explaining the difference between hard and soft virtues.  He uses several examples of businesses that illustrate one or another of these virtues, and our talk focuses extensively on the issue of humility, which is one of the virtues Ted believes is most important to successful leadership and one that may be slipping away in our culture.  This portion of the interview also includes some thoughts on the role of “individualism” and Ted’s thoughts on Ayn Rand.  We conclude with some reflections on where America’s spiritual capital and business environment is heading in the next few decades.  Recorded: January 4, 2013.



Theodore Malloch’s biography at his personal website.

Spiritual Capital Initiative at the Yale Center for Faith & Culture.

America’s Spiritual Capital, by Nicholas Capaldi and Theodore Roosevelt Malloch.

Doing Spiritual Business: The Remarkable Success of Spiritual Enterprise, by Theodore Roosevelt Malloch.

The End of Ethics and a Way Back: How to Fix a Fundamentally Broken Financial System, by Theodore Roosevelt Malloch and Jordan Mamorsky.

Renewing American Culture: The Pursuit of Happiness, by Theodore Roosevelt Malloch and Scott T. Massey.


Art Carden on Christian Ethics, Charity, and Economics.

Robert Sirico on Markets, Morality, Faith, and Freedom.


One Response to “Theodore Malloch on Spiritual Capital & Virtuous Business”

  1. […] Theodore Malloch on Spiritual Capital and Virtuous Business. […]

Leave a Reply

Listen or Download This Episode
Search The Podcast
To search the podcast, type a term and click the Search button.

Connect With Us