A Match Made in Heaven: Why Theology and Economics Need Each Other
Theologians have often dismissed economics as inherently heretical or, at the very least, highly suspect. Economists have often forgotten the humble beginnings of their discipline and allowed their reach to exceed their moral grasp. It is incumbent upon both disciplines to renew their commitment to one another for their mutual benefit. This lecture will explore the background of the current schism, the dynamics of its contemporary expression, and particular promising points of rapprochement going forward. Theology and economics have insights to offer one another, and in fact, in a deep and meaningful way, need one another to fulfill their respective tasks.
Formal response: Stephen Long
sponsored by the Oikonomia Network.
Jordan J. Ballor (Dr. theol., University of Zurich) is a research fellow at the Acton Institute and serves as executive editor of the Journal of Markets & Morality. He is author of Get Your Hands Dirty: Essays on Christian Social Thought (and Action) (Wipf & Stock, 2013), Covenant, Causality, and Law: A Study in the Theology of Wolfgang Musculus (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2012), and Ecumenical Babel: Confusing Economic Ideology and the Church\’s Social Witness (Christian\’s Library Press, 2010). He is also associate director of the Junius Institute for Digital Reformation Research and a doctoral candidate in historical and moral theology at Calvin Theological Seminary.
Stephen Long (PhD, Duke University), professor of theology as Marquette University. He is an ordained United Methodist and served churches in Honduras and North Carolina. He has published eleven books, including Living the Discipline: United Methodist Theological Reflections on War, Civilization, and Holiness (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmanns, 1992), Divine Economy: Theology and the Market (London and New York, Routledge, 2000), The Goodness of God: Theology, Church and Social Order (Brazos Press, 2001), John Wesley’s Moral Theology: The Quest for God and Goodness (Kingswood, 2005), Calculated Futures (Baylor, 2007).
NOTE: This talk has subsequently been published in essay form. Jordan J. Ballor, “Theology and Economics: A Match Made in Heaven?” Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies 26, no. 1/2 (2014): 115-134.