Morality of the Market: Religious and Economic Perspectives
G.A. Rawlyk is a history professor at Queen’s University and the
author of Champions of the Truth: Fundamentalism, Modernism, and the
This volume of essays, comments, and discussion accurately reflects the proceedings of the Fraser Institute Conference held in Vancouver in August 1982. Funded by the Liberty Trust, Inc., and dominated by free market advocates like Milton and David Friedman, Michael Novak, Walter Block, and Arthur Schenfield, the Conference tried to answer the question of why “an anti-market orientation now predominates within the ecclesiastical establishment.” Few persuasive answers, however, were provided by the participants, who preferred instead to debate over and over again, from a myriad of perspectives, Milton Friedman’s contention that “there has never been so powerful an uplifting force for the poor taken as a group, taken as a class, as through the free market economy” (p.109).
The Friedman-Hayek gospel was preached with great enthusiasm at the conference, and left-wing critics like Robert Shinn of Union Theological Seminary, James Well, editor of The Christian Century, and Philip Wogeman of Wesley Theological Seminary were always on the defensive. The Liberty Trust should be pleased with the proceedings; so will the other right-wing true believers. The interested general reader, however, will soon get bogged down in the repetitive, boring text. There may be a book to be found in these Conference proceedings. But it is probably not worth a reader’s time to try to find the book.