Religion and the Rise of Capitalism
A review of

Religion and the Rise of Capitalism

Religion and Money

by David Meyer

Harvard professor Benjamin M. Friedman provides a fascinating, groundbreaking overview of the remarkable intertwining of Christian beliefs and US economic policies.

Benjamin M. Friedman, a professor of political economy and the former chair of the economics department at Harvard, delves headlong into the sensitive topic of religion’s impact on economics. He offers readers an impartial and comprehensive history of that relationship in the United States that focuses on Adam Smith, Calvinism and modern-day evangelical voters. Friedman’s thought-provoking approach reveals why the US economy differs from those of other developed countries.

Academics, economists and literary journals found much food for thought here. Library Journal said, “[Friedman’s] detailed tracing of the philosophical and theological roots of free market economics is well researched, well written and well worth reading.” Booklist called Friedman’s insights “a bracing challenge to narrowly secular assessments of economic theory.” And The New York Times Book Review wrote that Friedman “covers not only the main thinkers in both economics and theology, but also the less well-known ones who helped shape their thought.”

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