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The Church and the Market: A Catholic Defense of the Free Economy (Studies in Ethics and Economics) Paperback – 28 Jan 2005
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"The Church and the Market" is an essential tool for the Catholic free-market intellectual who is fighting the pro-state biases that too often set the terms for economic discussions of modern Catholic social teaching. From welfare and wage policies to distributist demagoguery, Woods speaks classical liberal truth to today's dominant modernist authorities, challenging them to accept at least a modicum of economic rigor into their analyses. As a result, he provides an important contribution toward defining the correct context of Catholic social teaching for the next century.--Christopher Westley
Woods' book is a welcome antidote to the various combinations of economic incompetence and self-righteous posturing - "liberation theology," New Deal welfarism, social democratic interventionism, distributism - that too often masquerade as the only "authentic" interpretations of Catholic social teaching. Every Catholic - and especially every Catholic bishop - ought to consider its arguments before speaking out on economic policy.--Edward Feser, Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, Loyola Marymount University
The Church and the Market is an essential tool for the Catholic free-market intellectual who is fighting the pro-state biases that too often set the terms for economic discussions of modern Catholic social teaching. From welfare and wage policies to distributist demagoguery, Woods speaks classical liberal truth to today's dominant modernist authorities, challenging them to accept at least a modicum of economic rigor into their analyses. As a result, he provides an important contribution toward defining the correct context of Catholic social teaching for the next century.--Christopher Westley, Assistant Professor of Economics, Jacksonville State University
Finally, someone who truly understands the science of economics has given us the most thorough examination of Catholic Social Teaching yet available. I highly recommend . . . to all desiring to see the Catholic Church's role in the economic realm in a proper light. It should be required reading for priests, bishops, and seminarians, as well as clerics of other denominations, as a remedy for the socialism that has crept into religious circles over the past century.--William R. Luckey, Chairman and Professor, Political Science and Economics Department, Christendom College
Woods' coverage of a vast terrain (economics, history, theology, philosophy, and politics) is concise, but not breezy.... The best writing draws attention to itself only after it has been read. If the reader reflects on the human source of his literary delight, he may feel a debt of gratitude such as I felt after reading each of Woods' chapters. Woods' firm literary hand assures the reader that he is not in over his head and delivers a work that, for all its learning, goes down smoothly.--Anthony Flood, www.LewRockwell.com
Thomas Woods uses the unique perspective of the Austrian School of Economics to present a clear, compelling, and uncompromising argument that the moral teachings of the Catholic Church are completely compatible with free market capitalism. Arguing that faith should be coupled with the best of secular science in policy advocacy, Woods also shows that some elements of Catholic social doctrine are the unfortunate result of factual error rather than the application of moral principle.--Samuel Bostaph, Emeritus Professor of Economics, University of Dallas
About the Author
Thomas E. Woods Jr., who received his Ph.D. from Columbia University, is the author of theNew York Times bestsellerThe Politically Incorrect Guide to American History. He has written over 150 articles for popular and scholarly periodicals and is a frequent commentator on radio and television.The Church and the Market is his fourth book.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
When understood in the same context as any other economic, historical, or literary criticism, readers will find that Woods's criticisms of Papal encyclicals and other Catholic theories are completely fair. Rather than leveling some harsh polemic at the authors and philosophers he criticizes, Woods presents reasonable, straightforward, and fair counterarguments to _economic assumptions and conclusions_ written in a fraternal manner while explicitly maintaining the moral authority of Catholic teaching throughout the book. Any anti-Catholic readers excited to find ammunition to use against the Catholic Church will be very disappointed with the book, as will anyone with an ax to grind with capitalism or Austrian economics. However, even a non-Christian audience with an interest in economics (particularly libertarians) would probably find this book very interesting.
But all is not dark. It's hard to explain, but I walked away from this book with a sensation of lightning coming from my fingertips*.
...from a book on economics. Who could have known?
Thank you Dr. Woods.
(* =Your experience may vary.)
Unlike other books of religion and economics, The Church and the Market, laid out specific goals and the means to achieve them. For example, Woods, presented a case for sound money instead of simply saying we need charity. I also found much of his history enlightening as economics was not a main focal point of, say, Thomas Aquinas and consequently there is little known about Catholic thinkers and their contributions to fundamentals of economics.
Over all, I found his points valuable and lucid in what is generally a very confusing topic.
As for the detractors, you can clearly tell who has read the book or not.