Posts Tagged ‘economics’


James Hudnut-Beumler on the History of Church Financing in the US

While pastors often don’t want to talk about the subject of church funding, it is an established fact that religious groups need finances to survive and thrive. Prof. James Hudnut-Beumler (Vanderbilt University) discusses the importance of thinking about church funding and takes us on a tour of how church financing has changed in the United States over the past two and a half centuries. We cover topics such as pew rentals, competition from benevolence groups, and automatic debiting. Technological and social changes have affected how religious organizations collect revenue and, in turn, has shaped our religious landscape in interesting ways.

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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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Art Carden on Christian Ethics & Economics (Encore Presentation)

How does a Christian economist approach the religious charge of helping one’s neighbor? We talk with Art Carden about the relationship between Christian ethics and economic growth. The podcast starts out with a dose of good news in these troubling times, and we try to figure out why the past two centuries have been truly unique in human history. While a good portion of our discussion relates to economic history, we dip into the issue of how Christian ethics can assist or retard economic growth. Prof. Carden reminds us that economic growth is about getting the institutions right and getting the rhetoric right; it is the latter theme where Christian theologians and followers can make a big difference.

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Peter Leeson on Witch Trials and Human Sacrifice

Our annual Halloween special takes us back in history to the 16th century when Europe faced a wave of witchcraft trials. To learn why these episodes took place when and where they did, we consult with economist Peter Leeson who enlightens us as to how economics can be used to understand these questions. He also explains the seemingly irrational behavior of human sacrifice in India through the lens of rationality and connects it to an episode that happened in his apartment complex. To find out what that is, you will have to listen.

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Charles North on Religion, Economic Development, and Rule of Law

Prof. Charles North discusses his research linking religion to the rule of law and economic development. We survey the literature on religion and economic growth, and then chat about North’s findings wherein Protestantism, Catholicism, and Hinduism were statistically linked to higher support for “rule of law” and lower levels of corruption. We discuss some of the potential causal reasons for this connection, which takes us back to medieval Europe and the rise of canon law.

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Michael McBride on Religious Free-Riding and the Mormon Church

While the staff at RoR takes a short break to catch up with other work, we run this “Best of…” show with Michael McBride on how religious organizations attempt to counter the inherent problem of “free-riding” in any voluntary group. Joiin us on our Facebook Fan Page for updates on what is happening in the coming weeks. Search Facebook using “Research on Religion with Anthony Gill.”

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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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Mike McBride on the Economics of Religious Leadership

Why is religious leadership so important? And what do rituals have to do with establishing authority and leadership? Prof. Michael McBride of UC-Irvine discusses the underlying economic logic of religious leadership, particularly as it relates to coordinating group activity. Central to any leadership position is the issue of coordinating expectations among followers. Mike shows how various rituals, normative values, and sacrifices can assist in make leadership effective. We also discuss the implications of his theory with some surprising extensions to secularization theory.

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Carmel Chiswick on the Economics of American Judaism

Carmel Chiswick (University of Illinois, Chicago and the George Washington University) discusses the economics of American Judaism, showing how higher wage rates and the “cost of time” shaped the way that Jewish immigrants practiced their faith. We look primarily at the German and Russian/East German Jewish immigration of the 19th century and how the socio-economic circumstances of those groups shaped the Reform and Conservative Jewish movements. Our conversation also covers the issues of immigration, education, and assimilation, ending with a discussion of what America Judaism looks like today, what it is likely to become, and how it is influencing Judaism worldwide.

Stay tuned for some exciting new podcasts coming soon.

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Art Carden on Christian Ethics, Charity, and Economics

How does a Christian economist approach the religious charge of helping one’s neighbor? We talk with Art Carden about the relationship between Christian ethics and economic growth. The podcast starts out with a dose of good news in these troubling times, and we try to figure out why the past two centuries have been truly unique in human history. While a good portion of our discussion relates to economic history, we dip into the issue of how Christian ethics can assist or retard economic growth. Prof. Carden reminds us that economic growth is about getting the institutions right and getting the rhetoric right; it is the latter theme where Christian theologians and followers can make a big difference.

Join the Research on Religion “online revolution” by visiting our Facebook Fan Page and telling your friends about this great free resource.

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