Faith, Economics, and Globalization: An Exchange with J. David Richardson

A couple of years ago the editor of Faith and Economics asked me to be part of a published exchange with J. David Richardson, Professor of Economics & International Relations at Syracuse University. Dave and I had some cordial exchanges when I organized a conference on secularity and globalization back in 2005 (which resulted in the book, After Modernity? Secularity, Globalization, and the Re-enchantment of the World) and we agreed that it would be fruitful to encourage further dialogue between Christian economists, theologians, and philosophers. Dave and several other economists who were part of the Association of Christian Economists had been reading folks like Milbank, Cavanaugh, and Dan Bell, were puzzled and/or frustrated, and were looking to extend that conversation. The invitation from Faith and Economics was an opportunity to pick up where we left off.

The full-text of our exchange is now available (for free) as: “Economists, Theologians, and Globalization: An Exchange” (pdf). We each begin with an essay, followed by two rounds of responses. My opening essay, “The ‘Ecclesial’ Critique of Globalization: Rethinking the Questions,” is meant to be a kind of primer on the work of D. Stephen Long, William Cavanaugh, and Daniel Bell for non-theologians, and Christian economists in particular.
It seems that Dave and I thought we were answering different questions, so you’ll sense our frustration in the ensuing responses. But as I suggest in my reply, I think that even if we seemed to be talking past one another, it was an oddly productive talking-past-one-another.
Read “Economists, Theologians, and Globalization: An Exchange,” Faith and Economics 56 (Fall 2010): 5-63.