GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (June 3, 2014) -- The Acton Institute has sponsored the latest online symposium for Econ Journal Watch  (EJW) titled, “Does Economics Need an Infusion of Religious or Quasi-Religious Formulations?”
One of the common criticisms of professional economics today is that it lacks a deeper engagement with religious faith, says Daniel B. Klein, editor of EJW. “If such richer concepts are worth incorporating, does that necessarily bring theism or religiosity into the economists’ discourse?” he asks.
In his prologue to the symposium, Klein examines whether “mainstream economics tends to preclude religious or quasi-religious understandings, whether that is a bad thing, and about the relationship between such understandings and religious faith.”
Professor Emerita of economics at Hope College, Robin Klay begins the symposium with her essay, “Where do Economists of Faith Hang Out? Their Journals and Associations, plus Luminaries Among Them .” Klay is a previous lecturer at Acton University  and a member of the Journal of Markets and Morality  executive editorial board. EJW has compiled 17 response essays that come from various religious backgrounds and ideological positions, offering varied and differing insights.
- Pavel Chalupníček, Researcher at Faculty of Social and Economic Studies, J. E. Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic: “From an Individual to a Person: What Economics Can Learn from Theology About Human Beings .”
- Victor V. Claar, Professor of Economics at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, and a frequent lecturer at Acton University and author of the Acton monograph, Fair Trade: “Joyful Economics .”
- Charles M. A. Clark, Senior Fellow of the Vincentian Center for Church and Society and Professor of Economics at St. John’s University: “Where There Is No Vision, Economists Will Perish .”
- Ross B. Emmett, Professor of Political Economy and Political Theory & Constitutional Democracy at James Madison College, Michigan State University and a frequent lecturer at Acton University: “Economics Is Not All of Life .”
- Daniel K. Finn, the Clemens Professor of Economics and Professor of Theology at St. John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota: “Philosophy, Not Theology, Is the Key for Economics: A Catholic Perspective .”
- David George, Professor of Economics at La Salle University: “Moving from the Empirically Testable to the Merely Plausible: How Religion and Moral Philosophy Can Broaden Economics .”
- Jayati Ghosh, Professor of Economics at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi: “Notes of an Atheist on Economics and Religion .”
- M. Kabir Hassan, Professor of Finance and Hibernia Professor of Economics and Finance in the Department of Economics and Finance at the University of New Orleans, and William J. Hippler, III, recent graduate of the University of New Orleans: “Entrepreneurship and Islam: An Overview .”
- Mary Hirschfeld, Assistant Professor of Economics and Theology in the Humanities Department of Villanova University: “On the Relationship Between Finite and Infinite Goods, Or: How to Avoid Flattening .”
- Abbas Mirakhor, the First Holder of the Chair of Islamic Finance at the International Center for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF): “The Starry Heavens Above and the Moral Law Within: On the Flatness of Economics ”
- Andrew P. Morriss, the D. Paul Jones, Jr. & Charlene A. Jones Chairholder in Law and Professor of Business, University of Alabama and author of the Acton monograph, Creation and the Heart of Man: “On the Usefulness of a Flat Economics to the World of Faith .” In May, Morriss was named dean of the Texas A&M University School of Law.
- Edd Noell, Professor of Economics at Westmont College, and frequent lecturer at Acton University: “What Has Jerusalem to Do with Chicago (or Cambridge)? Why Economics Needs an Infusion of Religious Formulations .”
- Eric B. Rasmusenis, the Dan and Catherine M. Dalton Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business: “Maximization Is Fine—But Based on What Assumptions? ”
- Rupert Read, Reader in Philosophy at the University of East Anglia, and Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Distinguished Professor of Risk Engineering at New York University’s School of Engineering and author of The Black Swan: “Religion, Heuristics, and Intergenerational Risk Management .”
- Russell Roberts, the John and Jean De Nault Research Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution: Sympathy for Homo Religiosus 
- A. M. C. Waterman, former Maurice Reckitt Fellow in Christian Social Thought at the University of Sussex, currently an Anglican layman: “Can ‘Religion’ Enrich ‘Economics’? ”
- Andrew M. Yuengert, the Blanche Seaver Professor of Social Science at Pepperdine University and author of the Acton monograph, Inhabiting the Land: “Sin, and the Economics of ‘Sin’ .”
Econ Journal Watch is an electronic journal that, in addition to publishing original essays, commentaries, and critiques about economics, takes special care to point out when authors use “inappropriate assumptions, weak chains of argument, phony claims of relevance, omissions of pertinent truths, and irreplicability.” Visit it online at http://econjwatch.org/