Early Think Tank Efforts on Economics and Religion

In 1981, the Fraser Institute created "The Centre for the Study of Economics and Religion" (CSER) as one of its divisions. It produced some great products. One of my favorites is the book Religion, Wealth and Poverty, [link points to the PDF] by Fr. James Schall, SJ, with a forward by Michael Novak.  

CSER was headed by a noted agnostic, the talented Austrian economist Walter Block. This division of Fraser Institute was still in existence when I joined Atlas in 1985. Atlas listed the Centre as one of the think tanks in its network, separate from Fraser.

The Board of Advisors was outstanding and included the following people (listed here with their affiliation at that time):

Dr. Kenneth E. Boulding

Distinguished Professor of Economics, Emeritus, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado

Professor Brian Griffiths Dean, The City University-Business School, London, England

Dr. Richard John Neuhaus

Senior Fellow, Council on Religion and International Affairs, New York, New York

The Reverend Dr. E. R. Norman

Dean, Peterhouse, Cambridge, England

Mr. Michael Novak

American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, Washington D.C.

Father James Schall, S.J., 

Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

Rabbi Seymour Siegel

Professor of Ethics and Theology, Jewish Theological Seminary, New York, New York

As Resource People, it listed Dr. Terry Anderson, who was then teaching in Vancouver; Dr. John Chant; Dr. Irving Hexham; Dr. Paul Heyne; Dr. David Lochhead; Dr. David Schreck; The Reverend James M. Wall; and Dr. William (Bud) Phillips.


Instituto de Estudios Económicos y de Etica Social (Institute of Economic Studies and Social Ethics)

In the mid 80's, some time before I moved to the United States, a group of free-market professors and allies, old and young, started a think tank with a similar vision than Acton. I was one of them, others involved were Luisa Zorraquín de Marcos and Enrique J. Loncán. Loncán was one of the senior members. He had studied under Von Mises at the Foundation for Economic Education. He became a prominent lawyer an president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Argentina. Luísa studied under Dr. Hans Sennholz at Grove City College. 

If my memory serves me well, some of those involved in the effort were Gabriel Zanotti (the youngest of the group), Miguel de Oromí Escalada, a former undersecretary of economics, and Ponciano Vivanco, who also studied under Sennholz at Grove City College.

When I returned for a visit in 1987, I was invited to give a lecture "Towards a theology of wealth creation" at CUDES, a student residence and university center. A major business school later developed at those premises. 

 The picture bellow shows the invitation to the event. 

Liberal et Croyant

In 1987, Raoul Audouin (November 21, 1907-April 6, 2005) created Point de Rencontre Libéral et Croyant.  Not a think tank, but a small publication where Christian friends of economic liberty could share their thoughts. It produced a small magazine with articles that stressed liberal economics and faith, some of the work is continued in this site Liberal et Croyant which includes essays of interest, and a good bibliography of works by Audouin, including many of his translations