GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., (May 14, 2003) — For many economists, modern theory begins with Adam Smith. But, as author Alejandro Chafuen shows in Faith and Liberty: The Economic Thought of the Late Scholastics , the roots of our present day understanding of economics actually go back much further, to the sixteenth and seventeenth century work of Spanish scholastic thinkers who drew on natural law tradition and scholastic moral theology. Thinking through issues such as the just price and legitimacy of private property, these Catholic theologians and philosophers were the first to grapple with the ideas normally associated with Smith.
Chafuen is president and chief executive officer of the Atlas Economic Research Foundation and is one of the world’s leading commentators on the economic thought of Thomistic and Late-Scholastic thinkers. He points to the need for modern economics to be grounded upon a revised anthropology of the human person, and he makes the case for theologians and the church to recognize the capacity of economics to contain greater truths. The revised edition of Faith and Liberty contains a new discussion on the subject of extreme need, and reflects changes in the political and economic climate following the collapse of Communism.
Faith and Liberty, published by Lexington Books and edited by Samuel Gregg, Acton Institute’s Director of the Center of Economic Personalism, is part of the Studies in Ethics and Economics series. It is available for $16.95 from the Acton Book Shoppe ( http://www.acton.org/bookshoppe/ ).