Dr. Mary Hirschfeld of Villanova University, author of Aquinas and the Market: Toward a Humane Economy, is one of the few true economist-theologians I know of. Harvard-trained economist, Notre Dame-trained theologian, adult Roman Catholic convert, Dr Hirschfeld was recommended to me by a number of friends as a speaker for a symposium I organized in partnership with the Institute for Human Ecology at the Catholic University of America (and hosted by the American Enterprise Institute in DC) this past March. Four papers by theologically minded economists and economically minded theologians – Dr Hirschfeld among them – anchored two solid days of tremendously broad, deep, and gracefully collegial conversation. (The four papers, by the way, will be published in an end-of-2022 issue of the Journal of Markets & Morality.) And it was a delight to meet and work with all of them, but particularly Dr Hirschfeld, whose paper impressed and engaged everyone in the room.
On returning from that symposium, since everyone was telling me I must read Aquinas and the Market (which I commend to everyone interested in the intersection of theology and economics) I’ve been meeting with two friends on a monthly basis to work through the book. To launch our reading group together, we watched a half-hour video interview with Hirschfeld posted last November by the Minnesota Catholic Conference. In preparation for our discussion of that video, I drafted the summary notes below. The interview is worth watching, but this will give you a quick study:Continue reading