The Church and the Market:
A Catholic Defense of the Free Economy, revised edition
by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.
Lexington Books (Rowman & Littlefield), 2015 (originally published 2005)
First Place, Templeton Enterprise Award, 2006
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Click here for the Italian translation, here for the Spanish translation, and here for the Polish translation.
“The most thorough examination of Catholic Social Teaching yet available…. 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, Department of Economics and Political Science, Christendom College
“One need not be a libertarian to appreciate Thomas Woods’ The Church and the Market as a timely and insightful contribution to integrating both the logic of the market and the logic of morality. A correct understanding of the ethical aspects of most urgent social and political questions cannot but gain from enlightenment by sound economic thinking as expounded in this admirably written book.”
-Martin Rhonheimer, Professor of Ethics and Political Philosophy, Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rome
“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, Chairman, Department of Economics, University of Dallas
“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.”
-Edward Feser, Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Loyola Marymount 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, LewRockwell.com
“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 (London)
“The best defense of the market system in the light of Divine Revelation in print, and an example of the type of scholarship that always resulted when Faith and Reason join.”
-Christopher Westley, Assistant Professor of Economics, Jacksonville State University
“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.”
-James R. Lothian, Distinguished Professor of Finance, Fordham University, in 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.”
-Malcolm A. Kline, 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 economics.”
-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.”
-David Gordon, The Mises Review
“A highly readable book that reflects much effort by a serious and gentlemanly scholar.”
-Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics
My own discussion of the book
Review by Prof. Christopher Westley
Review (in Italian) by Alberto Mingardi (Istituto Bruno Leoni), senior fellow, Center for the New Europe
Review by the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics
Lou Church Memorial Lecture in Religion and Economics
Panel discussion, Fondazione Magna Carta, Italy (video)