Summaries & Keywords

STUDIA GILSONIANA » Issues » 2021 » 10:5 (special issue, 2021) » Summaries & Keywords

Peter A. Redpath; Marvin B. D. Peláez; Jason Morgan, “Religion and Economics: Editors’ Introduction,” Studia Gilsoniana 10, no. 5 (special issue, 2021): 1045–1054, DOI: 10.26385/SG.100443:

SUMMARY: The response to the special 2019 issue of Studia Gilsoniana on economics was so positive that it led to the creation of the Aquinas School of Leadership School of Economics (ASLSE). This 2021 publication is, therefore, a second special issue of Studia Gilsoniana on the same theme and the second installment of ASLSE’s economic journals. We are delighted to present here further fruits of thought from the maturing Studia Gilsoniana and ASLSE partnership. Economics is held to be a value-free, scientific enterprise, and as such there can be no relationship between economics and religion. Ayn Rand, a well-known novelist-turned-philosopher, took this position in an unapologetic way in her writings, specifically in her novel Atlas Shrugged. The contrary position to what we might call the Randian “strict separation” thesis holds that economics and religion are related, in some way and to some degree, and therefore should be considered in tandem. The papers in this special edition of Studia Gilsoniana set out to show the extent and quality of the relationship between economics and religion from a variety of viewpoints and historical periods.

KEYWORDS: religion, economic science, philosophy, science, economics.

 

Renato Cristin, “Proprietà e identità: La Dottrina sociale della Chiesa e l’unione fra cristianesimo e capitalismo [Property and Identity: The Social Doctrine of the Church and the Union between Christianity and Capitalism],” Studia Gilsoniana 10, no. 5 (special issue, 2021): 1055–1088, DOI: 10.26385/SG.100445:

SUMMARY: This paper reaffirms the truth of the Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church (CSD) and its impact in the socioeconomic sphere in Western Civilization. Specifically, it seeks to put in order the chaos in which secularized European society currently finds itself. Through Archbishop Giampaolo Crepaldi’s interpretation of CSD, the author dispels erroneous notions of collectivism surrounding private property, productive work, solidarity, and subsidiarity by arguing that a proper understanding of these principles supports a healthy capitalism, which in turn supports human dignity. Only through a capitalism in line with a proper understanding of CSD principles can the poor stand to gain the most, provided they have a socioeconomic framework in which they can independently thrive. Liberation theology as a cornerstone of a socioeconomic framework destroys the foundation the Church established through the centuries. In the interpretation of the relationship between the CSD and the capitalist economy provided by this paper, the concept of private property emerges as the central nucleus of any human operation, be it cultural, economic, social, or political. Ownership does not only mean possessing material things, but also spiritual elements. Thus ownership also means identity, of a person and of a people. As we enter the third decade of the twenty-first century, the ideology of political correctness—that is, the ideology of the various cultural and political movements of the left—condemns identity as dangerous, a condemnation which furthers the operation of globalization, the homogenization of humanity, and the related attempt to weaken nations in view of a supranational management. If identity is one of the consequences of the concept of property, then this latter must also be banned, as an obstacle on the way to that global dis-identification that would herald a socialization of the Western world. But from the perspective of the main spiritual foundation of the West, that is, of the Judeo-Christian tradition, property is one of the pillars of society, and therefore cannot be suppressed or even undermined. The Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church, founded by Pope Leo XIII and relaunched by Pope John Paul II, is an excellent antidote to the ideological poison of socialism and progressivism now wide-spread in all Western countries.

KEYWORDS: Crepaldi, social doctrine, poverty, capitalism, private property, identity, Fratelli tutti, profit, productivity, liberation theology.

 

Owen Anderson, “What Can a Conversation between Ayn Rand, Socrates, and the Apostle Paul Teach Us about Our Highest Good?,” Studia Gilsoniana 10, no. 5 (special issue, 2021): 1089–1106, DOI: 10.26385/SG.100444:

SUMMARY: Ayn Rand, through her character Fransisco d’Anconia in Atlas Shrugged, taught that the Apostle Paul is wrong when he says money is a root of all kinds of evil. Instead, she argues that money is perhaps the greatest invention of humanity and is the foundation of civilization. In this article, Dr. Anderson challenges Rand’s understanding of good and evil first by comparing d’Anconia to Thrasymachus and then by considering good and evil in the Biblical Worldview. These connections make it possible to see how economics and religion are closely connected through basic assumptions about reality and our highest good. Without knowing our highest good we cannot make sense of either religion or economics.

KEYWORDS: Ayn Rand, Socrates, Apostle Paul, good, evil, money, civilization, religion, economics, capitalism, communism, Francisco d’Anconia.

 

Thomas A. Michaud, “Anatomy of the Progressive Revolution,” Studia Gilsoniana 10, no. 5 (special issue, 2021): 1107–1120, DOI: 10.26385/SG.100447:

SUMMARY: A cultural infrastructure of shared morality is necessary for the success of market economics. Traditional views maintain that religion is the nurturing source of the morality, which grows in the culture. The Progressive revolution aims to overturn Traditional morality and impose its social justice morality on culture. This article dissects and critiques the multifaceted Progressive revolution in the United States, while contrasting it with the Traditional view. It argues that the ultimate aim of the Progressive revolution is to redefine the human person through identity politics as a collective entity, which essentially liquidates the individual, conforms the person to social justice morality, and establishes socialistic economics.

KEYWORDS: Progressive revolution, economics, morality, religion, traditional morality, social justice morality, human person, identity politics, collective entity, individual, socialistic economics.

 

Peter A. Redpath, “The Uncommon Common Sense of the Science of Economics: Sound Money and How it Relates to the Economist as Liberal Artist and Prudential Organizational Psychologist,” Studia Gilsoniana 10, no. 5 (special issue, 2021): 1121–1136, DOI: 10.26385/SG.100449:

SUMMARY: Well known to students of St. Thomas Aquinas is that he maintained that the whole of a science is contained in its principles and that its principles are contained in its definitions. The author takes as his point of departure for this article a definition of money that he gave in the article he wrote for the 2019 Aquinas School of Leadership’s School of Economics inaugural issue for the Studia Gilsoniana: “Aristotle and Aquinas on the Virtue of Money as a Preservative of Justice in Business Affairs and States.” According to him, as a species of economic activity, the definition of money must contain what Aquinas considered to be his generic definition of the science of economics and the essential principles he thought this definition contains. The present article he writes is an attempt to unpack some implications contained in St. Thomas’s generic definition of the science of economics of which money is a species.

KEYWORDS: Thomas Aquinas, common sense, science of economics, sound money, economics, liberal art, organizational psychology, money, economic activity.

 

Jason Morgan, “The ‘Unity of Economic and Moral Practice’: Japanese Religious Sensibility and the Person-Centered Economic Tradition of Japan,” Studia Gilsoniana 10, no. 5 (special issue, 2021): 1137–1181, DOI: 10.26385/SG.100448:

SUMMARY: In Japan, the ideal of economic practice has long been rooted in a native Shintō-inspired religious sensibility according to which the world is populated by a myriad of deities (yaoyorozu no kami; lit., “the eight million gods”). This engenders an understanding of the other in an economic transaction as having a transcendent nature, and of the household and wider society as a fortiori transcending (both spiritually and diachronically) the individual economic actor. In turn, the transcendent view of the human person has nurtured a person-centered approach to economic activity in Japan. The author examines three iterations of Japanese spiritually-inflected economic activity—the Ōmi merchants, the Shingaku teachings of Ishida Baigan, and the “unity of economic and moral practice” views of Shibusawa Eiichi and later business ethics thinkers—to show that, regardless of specific creed, Japanese economic thinking tends to reproduce the understanding of economic activity as ideally beneficial for human persons. By viewing the human person as an end and never as a means—an anthropology which is ultimately Shintōist, although broadly compatible with other beliefs—the standard economic actor in Japan works for the betterment of his counterpart and of society as a whole. This human-centered approach should and can be replicated in other countries a-round the world.

KEYWORDS: Ōmi merchants, Ishida Baigan, Shibusawa Eiichi, Pure Land Buddhism, Shintō, Hiroike Chikurō, Moralogy, sanpō yoshi, dōkei ittai.

 

J. Daniel Hammond, “God and Man at the University of Chicago: Religious Commitments of Three Economists,” Studia Gilsoniana 10, no. 5 (special issue, 2021): 1183–1217, DOI: 10.26385/SG.100446:

SUMMARY: The purpose of this paper is to examine how three very different Chicago economists, Milton Friedman, Frank H. Knight, and John U. Nef, Jr., handled the question of God and religion. The author shows that for each of these three figures, their stance on religion set limits on the effectiveness of their intellectual efforts in the public sphere of their university, the larger academic community, and American society.

KEYWORDS: Milton Friedman, Frank H. Knight, John U. Nef, God, religion, Chicago School, University of Chicago, economics, university, academic community, American society.