Religion and Society Part 2—Capitalism, Christianity, and the Free Market

In the second part of our discussion on religion’s role in America, we look at Christianity vis a vis capitalism and the free market. Differentiating capitalism from the free market, we explore the inherent alignment between Christian freedom and free market principles while wrestling with the inherent tensions between Christian doctrine and capitalism as we know it today.

We argue that while Christianity seems to support free market principles, it is not immutably linked to conservatism, Republicanism, or capitalism. We conclude that Christians should embrace the concept of free markets, but should feel at liberty to voice their concern over the direction of modern American capitalism, conservative politics, and the Republican party. Two decades ago, all of these ideological threads were tightly interwoven, but the state of our society and economy today has demonstrated that they can and should be decoupled.

Episode Notes, Sources and Corrections

Keith recounts the Parable of the Hidden Treasure found in Matthew 13:44 in which a man sells his possessions and buys a field.

Remington alludes to the Council of Jerusalem described in Acts 15, where the apostles deliberate in a quasi-democratic fashion, although Remington’s Catholicism behooves him to note that Peter appears to be their leader.

You can read more about the figures we mention toward the end of the episode here: Augustine, Augustine’s The City of God, Aquinas, the Acton Institute, and Thomas Woods’ How The Catholic Church Built Western Civilization.

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