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The Church and the Market


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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 Answering the Distributist Critique Chapter 8 In Omnibus, Caritas

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.


Should be required reading for any university or seminary course in social sciences that is supposed to be grounded in Catholic social teaching. Woods puts his case with such rigor and lucidity that there is probably no other text that is more effective in supporting a discussion of the application of the Church's social teaching to specific economic issues. * Economic Affairs *
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
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
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
A fine contribution to the debate concerning the possible and the proper reconciliation of Catholic social doctrine with free-market economics. Professor Woods finds an interesting niche in such a complex and uneven discussion...the author writes with splendid clarity, succeeding in explaining not-so-simple economic questions in very simple terms. * Christian Social Thought *
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
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,
Woods' central message, that sound moral statements about economic issues have to be grounded in sound economics is to my mind incontrovertible. And, in the main, Woods brings this message home with well-reasoned and well-presented analysis. Both the message and the analysis deserve careful reflection. * Homiletic & Pastoral Review *
Woods is an all-too-rare Catholic writer, one who is well versed in both Church doctrine and free-market economics.... The Church and the Market is a valuable book. * Crisis *
A person with no interest at all in Catholic social thinking can still benefit from [The Church and the Market]. The author writes with splendid clarity, succeeding in explaining not-so-simple economic questions in very simple terms.... A fine contribution to the debate concerning the possible and proper reconciliation of Catholic social doctrine with free-market economic * Journal of Markets & Morality *
Woods, one of the best classical liberal scholars of his generation, has once more placed us in his debt with this lucid and tightly argued book. * Mises Review *
A highly readable book that reflects much effort by a serious and gentlemanly scholar. * Quarterly Journal Of Austrian Economics *
The Church and the Market makes a convincing case that the 16th Century Scholastics anticipated elements of Austrian economics. More generally, it shows that religion is not necessarily antithetical to an appreciation of what the study of economics can offer....Woods' contribution is that he reminds us of the theological origins of many economic concepts that we teach our undergraduates today. * Heterodox Economics Newsletter *

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