By Thomas E. Woods

Book Cover: The Church and the Market; A Catholic Defense of the Free Economy (2005)
Editions:Hardcover: $ 94.00 USD
ISBN: 978-0-7391-8799-9
Pages: 294
Paperback: $ 38.00 USD
ISBN: 978-0-7391-8800
Pages: 294
ePub: $ 36.00 USD
ISBN: 978-0-7391-8801-9
Pages: 294

"The Church and the Market is a vigorous and lively defense of the market economy and a withering attack on all forms of state intervention. It covers labor unions, monopoly, money and banking, business cycles, interest, usury, and much more. Although it makes a particular point of noting the moral arguments of the market economy and that Catholics are of course perfectly at liberty to support it, its audience is much broader than Catholics alone. Readers of all religious traditions and none at all have praised The Church and the Market, first-place winner in the 2006 Templeton Enterprise Awards, as one of the most compelling and persuasive defenses of capitalism against its critics ever written."

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1 - Introduction
  • Chapter 2 - In Defense of Economics
  • Chapter 3 - Prices, Wages, and Labor
  • Chapter 4 - Money and Banking
  • Chapter 5 - The Economics and Morality of Foreign Aid
  • Chapter 6 - The Welfare State, the Family, and Civil Society
  • Chapter 7 - The Argument Restated: My Reply to a Critic
  • Chapter 8 - Answering the Distributist Critique
  • Chapter 9 - In Omnibus, Caritas
Excerpt:

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Reviews:Andrew Foshee on Faith & Economics wrote:

"Woods argues that there is a strong “hostility toward the market” in the social encyclicals, notwithstanding the favorable comments made by John Paul II in Centesimus Annus. This hostility has led Catholic supporters of the market to endorse compromised positions on a variety of issues including labor unions, wage rates, and monopoly. Interventionism is accepted in principle, the issue being only one of degree. Woods, on the other hand, is writing a principled defense of the free market which directs its response toward Catholics on the “right” who mistrust the market because they believe that Church teaching requires it. [...] Woods certainly demonstrates that a defense of the free-market (Austrian or otherwise) is not compatible with many aspects of Catholic social teaching at the prudential level, and that disagreement at that level does not constitute disobedience for a Catholic economist. I would be especially interested in Woods’ response to the question of whether his book contains the implicit argument that Austrian economics as a wertfrei discipline is compatible only with a libertarian ethics, and that libertarian ethics should form the basis for Catholic social teaching."

Alberto Mingardi on Journal of Markets and Morality wrote:

"By targeting conservative Catholics and engaging them in a constructive dialogue for the very purpose of bringing them to adopt a more solid economic theory, The Church and the Market fills a gap. A reader who is intellectually honest cannot take its points with indifference. If disagreements on economic matters are the rule, and rightly so, within the Catholic Church, Catholic advocates of the free market surely have a valuable instrument in this book."


About Thomas E. Woods

Thomas WoodsAccording to Wikipedia "Thomas Ernest Woods Jr. (born August 1, 1972) is an American historian, political commentator, author, and podcaster. Woods is a New York Times Best-Selling author and has published twelve books. He has written extensively on subjects including the history of the United States, Catholicism, contemporary politics, and economics. Although not an economist himself, Woods is a proponent of the Austrian School of economics." Woods is among others the author of the New York Times bestseller The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History.