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Baylor University to Host the Association of Christian Economists 25th Anniversary Conference

March 30, 2009

By Melissa Limmer

Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business and the Baylor Institute on Faith and Learning will host the Association of Christian Economists 25th Anniversary Conference April 16th-18th at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. To celebrate its 25th anniversary, the association of more than 400 members will host its first stand alone conference separate from the annual meeting of the American Association of Economists.

The focus of the convention will be "Three Perspectives on Economics and Faith," which will be presented by plenary speakers Rodney Stark of Baylor University, Arthur C. Brooks of Syracuse University, Laurence R. Iannaccone of George Mason University, and John P. Tiemstra of Calvin College. The three different ways in which faith and economics may inform each other will serve as organizing themes for plenary presentation, concurrent sessions and panel discussions. These three themes are: Faithful Economics, Economics of Religion, and Heterodoxy.

The conference is open to all economists, Christian and non, scholars and students from any discipline to allow for interdisciplinary interaction and debate regarding the crossroads of faith and economics. "There will be a lot of sparks flying, this is not a conference of people of like minds, a great diversity of presentations and views will be present," Conference Director and Baylor University Professor of Economics Dr. John Pisciotta said.

While the conference will certainly encourage debate, it also serves to allow people to meet face to face and develop relationships to work together on research, while promoting the study of the intersections of faith and learning. "The idea here is opposed to compartmentalization, our Christian worldview, faith and practice affects us twenty four-seven," Dr.Pisciotta said, "the Christian perspective has a great deal to offer (economics)."

This 25th Anniversary Conference serves to further the mission of the Association of Christian Economists to explore and communicate the relationship between their faith and the discipline of economics and to promote interaction and communication among Christian economists. "Our role is to be a source for reflection and fellowship, but also to promote a Christian view of economics, and to impact instruction in our classrooms," Dr.Pisciotta said.

Speaker Bios

Rodney Stark is University Professor of the Social Sciences and Co-Director of the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkley. Stark is the author of many books including: Cities of God, Discovering God, The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom and Captialism and Western Success and more. These award winning books have been translated into over a dozen languages. Dr. Stark's presentation is titled "New Religions: The Opium of the Privileged."

Arthur C. Brooks was chosen in July of 2008 to be the eleventh president of the American Enterprise Institute. Prior to this appointment, Brooks served as visiting scholar at AEI and the Louis Bantle Professor of Business and Government Policy at Syracuse University. He earned his doctorate in Public Policy Analysis from the Pardee RAND Graduate School. His most recent books include: 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. Dr. Brook's presentation is titled "What Do markets Need to Work? Faith, Hope and Charity."

Laurence R. Iannaccone is the Koch Professor of Economics at George Mason University. Innaccone earned his M.S. in Mathematics and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago. Since coming to George Mason University in 2002, Innacone 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). Dr. Innaccone's presentation is titled "The Economics of Religion: Invest Now, Repent Later"

John P. Tiemstra is Professor of Economics at Calvin College. He received a Bachelor of Arts from Oberlin College and a Ph.D. in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In addition to serving the Association of Christian Economists in a variety of capacities, Professor Tiemstra is the most recent past-president of the Association for Social Economics. Tiemstra is the author of Reforming Economics: Calvinist Studies on Methods and Institution and Economics: A Developmental Approach. The latter is an introductory economics textbook. Dr. Tiemstra's presentation is titled "Notes from the Revolution: Principles of a New Economics"

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