Posts Tagged ‘Adam Smith’


Is Religious Freedom Good for Growth? A Panel Discussion

Can religious liberty promote economic growth and long-term development? An expert panel of scholars moderated by Brian Grim discusses various perspectives on this question with the conversation ranging everywhere from the Ottoman Empire to Guatemala, and from Chinese house churches to bourbon. The panel includes noted luminaries Ilan Alon, Timur Kuran, Rachel McCleary, and your fuzzy host Anthony Gill.

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Michael Boone’s Spiritual 40 Day Road Trip

So, you are lying in an emergency room and the doctor tells you that he is going to restart your heart in two minutes, and it should work but things could still go wrong. What goes through your mind? A motorcycle road trip through the western United States, of course! At least that is what Michael Boone thought of, and then made it reality, picking up on a religious theme of 40 days in the wilderness and learning about letting go, listening closely, and learning what Sabbath really means. He shares his inspiring insights about what became a “journey of the heart” in more ways than one.

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Martin Barrett on Sozo Friends & For-Profit Charities

Can a for-profit business that is inspired by one’s religious faith act as an effective charity? While many folks think that most charities need to be “non-profit,” Sozo Friends, created and operated by our guest Martin Barrett, introduces a new model that teams with restaurants, auto dealers, and mortgage companies to use wine, coffee, and chocolate to help a wide variety of faith-based organizations. We discuss Mr. Barrett’s history (including his time in Young Life) and how he used his love of wine and Jesus to help orphans, at-risk youth, and victims of sex trafficking.

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Joshua Hall on Adam Smith, Religious Competition, and the Simpsons

What did Adam Smith have to say on the effects of religious pluralism in a nation? And can what Smith hypothesized be tested today to see if it bears out? And what does this have to do with The Simpsons? Prof. Joshua Hall of West Virginia University explains a recent study he conducted that shows countries with higher levels of religious diversity have less regulated religious markets, just as Smith would predict. We also think about endogeneity and other fancy words, culminating in the economics of The Simpsons, which is not related to the main topic, but which is really cool nonetheless.

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Nathanael Snow on the Evangelical Coalition and Public Choice

How have evangelical Christians been involved in politics ever since evangelical Christians have been around. Studying how these religious individuals become involved in elections and social movements has largely been the fodder of sociologists and political scientists, but our guest — Nathanael Snow, a graduate student in economics at George Mason University — focuses the lens of public choice theory to understand how evangelical politics have changed over time. We learn what public choice theory is, why it can apply to religious groups, and the history of evangelical involvement in U.S. politics from the mid-19th century forward. Nathanael

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Bob Subrick on Religion and Adam Smith, F.A. Hayek, and Vernon Smith

Adam Smith, Friedrich Hayek, and recent Nobel Laureate Vernon Smith are known for their deep thinking into the world of economics. But do these economic scholars have anything to say about the nature and social role of religion? Prof. Bob Subrick of James Madison University says “Yes!” and explains how each of these thinkers gives us insight into the role of religion and religious institutions in society. We take an intellectual tour through the economics of religion and come out all the better for it!

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Jason Jewell on Why Christians Should Read the “Great Books”

How could reading Plato’s “Euthydemus” have helped a Protestant pastor avoid seriously embarassing her profession and faith at an Applebee’s restaurant? Returning guest, Prof. Jason Jewell of Faulkner University, explains how Christians should not rely upon just The Bible for helping to frame their worldview. Jason explains how he is in the process of reading through the Great Books, what constitutes a Great Book, what Great Books can tell us, and how you can join him on this intellectual journey. A fantastic podcast interview for homeschoolers.

Visit Jason Jewell’s blog for more information (click [read more] to access the blog) about how you can read along with the Great Books at home.

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Chris Beneke on Religion, Markets, and the Founding Era

To what extent is the term “market” useful in describing or understanding religion, particularly during the era of America’s founding in the late 18th century? We take up this discussion with Prof. Chris Beneke of Bentley University who recently wrote a paper about the use of the “free market” metaphor. We talk about the use of economics to study religion as well as whether the Founding Fathers intended to create a laissez faire landscape for religious competition.

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Larry Witham on the Economics of Religion

Author Larry Witham takes an outsider’s look at the “economics of religion,” a relatively new academic perspective on understanding religious behavior and institutions. We trace the history of this academic school from Adam Smith to contemporary times and investigate how the logic of economics can help explain behavior at the level of the household, organization and market. The economics of religion is not just about financial concerns, but deals with how religiously-motivated individuals achieve their goals (including evangelization) in a world of scarcity. The basic assumptions and premises of the approach are examined, as are the critiques of the approach.

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