Baylor Hosts the Association of Christian Economists' 25th Anniversary Conference

April 15, 2009

by Jaime Bates, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

The Association of Christian Economists' 25th Anniversary Conference, - "Three Perspectives on Economics and Faith" - will be held April 16-18 on the Baylor University campus.

The Association of Christian Economists encourages Christian scholars to explore and communicate the relationship between their faith and the discipline of economics, while promoting interaction and communication among Christian economists. The conference, which honors the ACE's first 25 years of work, will focus the discussion on three topics, "Faithful Economics," "Economics of Religion" and "Heterodoxy."

"In keeping with the Baylor vision of scholarship and education, ACE seeks to foster a productive interplay of scholarship in economics with Christian moral and world view perspectives," said Dr. John Pisciotta, professor of economics at Baylor. "We hope the scholarly presentation and personal relationships developed at this conference will bear much fruit in the coming years."

A plenary speaker will give a lecture on each of the themes, followed by a presentation of papers on each subject.

Registration for conference begins at 5 p.m.Thursday, April 16, on the fifth floor of the Cashion Academic Center on the Baylor campus. Following the registration, Dr. Rodney Stark, Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences and co-director of the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor, will lecture on "Early Christianity: 'Opium' of the Privileged?"

Stark received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. He is the former president of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion and the Association for the Sociology of Religion. Starks is the author of several books that have been translated into more than a dozen languages, including Cities of God; Discovering God; The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism and Western Success; One True God: Historical Consequences of Monotheism; The Churching of America, 1776-1990: Winners and Losers in Our Religious Economy; and The Rise of Christianity.

A continental breakfast will be served from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. Friday, April 17, in the conference room on the fifth floor of Cashion. Arthur C. Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, will speak on "What Do Markets Need to Work? Faith, Hope and Charity" from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.

Following a 12-year career as a professional musician, Brooks received a doctorate in public policy analysis from the Pardee RAND Graduate School. He has served as visiting scholar at AEI and the Louis Bantle Professor of Business and Government Policy at Syracuse University. He is the author of several books, including, Gross National Happiness: Why Happiness Matters for America--and How We Can Get More of It, Social Entrepreneurship: A Modern Guide to Social Value Creation, and Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth about Compassionate Conservatism.

The first concurrent session will be held from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Friday. "Faithful Economics" will be held on the fifth floor of Cashion, "Economics of Religion" will be held in room 306 and "Heterodox Economics" will be held in room 400.

Lunch will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the banquet room of the fifth floor of Cashion, where Laurence R. Iannaccone, Koch Professor of Economics at George Mason University and Director of the Center for the Economic Study of Religion, will speak on "The Economics of Religion: Invest Now, Repent Later."

Iannaccone received a master's of science in mathematics and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago. While at George Mason, Iannaccone has established a yearly international conference on "Religion, Economics and Culture," an interdisciplinary Association for the Study of Religion, Economics and Culture (ASREC) and most recently the Consortium for the Economic Study of Religion (CESR).

The second concurrent session will be held from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. "Faithful Economics" will be held in rooms 306 and 311, "Economics of Religion" will be held in room 309 and "Heterodox Economics" will be held in room 307.

A roundtable discussion on "Faithful Economics" will be held from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. in room 303 with Paul McNamara from the University of Illinois, Edd Noell from Westmont College, John Mason from Gordon College and Nancy Fox from St. Joseph's University.

The third concurrent session will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. "Skepticism on Christian Scholarship in Economics" will be held in room 305, "Faithful Economics" will be held in rooms 307, "Economics of Religion" will be held in room 309 and "Heterodox Economics" will be held in room 306 and 311.

Dinner will be held from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the banquet room of the fifth floor of Cashion with a lecture on "Notes from the Revolution: Principles of a New Economics" by John P. Tiemstra, professor of economics at Calvin College.

Tiemstra, who is the former president of the Association for Social Economics, received a bachelor of arts degree from Oberlin College and a Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research focuses on methodological issues surrounding the integration of Christianity and economics. Tiemstra is the author of many articles and books, including Reforming Economics: Calvinist Studies on Methods and an economics textbook, Institution and Economics: A Developmental Approach.

The final day of the conference, April 18, will begin at 7:30 a.m. on the fifth floor of Cashion with a continental breakfast. A roundtable discussion on "Economics of Religion" will begin at 8:30 a.m. in room 303, with Laurence Iannaccone from George Mason University, David Mustard from the University of Georgia, Stephen Smith from Gordon College and Charles North from Baylor University.

The final concurrent session will begin at 10:15 a.m. "Christianity in the Economics Classroom" will be in room 303, "Faithful Economics" will be held in rooms 305, "Marriage and Family" will be held in room 307, and "Heterodox Economics" will be held in room 309 and 311.

The conference will conclude with a lunch and roundtable discussion on "Heterodoxy" at 11:45 p.m. on the fifth floor, with John Tiemstra from Calvin College, Gabriel Martinez form Ave Maria University, Robbie Mochrie from Heriot-Watt University and Andrew Yuengert from Pepperdine University.

Registration for the conference is regularly $150, student registration is $75. To register for the conference or for more information, visit www.baylor.edu/ifl.

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