I've been engaged in some heavy duty discussion about faith and economics over at Jesus Creed in recent days. I’ve had some requests for a reading list of books that have shaped my thinking. (I’ve been writing my own book on this stuff to clarify my own thinking. Whether it ever gets published is yet to be determined.) I could list dozens of books but here are some that give general coverage to major topics. Ask me tomorrow and it might be different list.
Books Relating Faith and Economics:
Bulls, Bears & Golden Calves: Applying Christian Ethics in Economics John Stapleford. Designed to be a stand alone introduction to economic issues from a Christian perspective or to be used in conjunction with an Intro to Econ college textbook.
Work in the Spirit: Toward a Theology of Work Miroslav Volf. The single best theology of work I've read. If you can only read one, start here.
The Other Six Days: Vocation, Work, and Ministry in Biblical Perspective Paul Stevens. Probably one of the most important books I've read on placing work within the broader framework of ministry and what God is doing in the world. (My chapter by chapter review)
The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success Rodney Stark. A fascinating presentation of how certain Christian values and ideas gave birth to capitalism over many centuries.
The Good of Affluence: Seeking God in a Culture of Wealth John Schneider. This is somewhat of a counterpoint to Ron Sider's "Rich Christians." Some colleges use the two books to study in tandem.
A Theology of Work: Work and the New Creation Darrell Cosden. I just read this book. Not for the faint hearted. It is a dissertation turned into a book. Fascinating insights about the image of God and how work relates to the new creation.
God at Work: The History and Promise of the Faith at Work Movement David Miller. An interesting history of how the church has sought to relate faith and work over the past century, and where he sees things headed. (My book review)
Three books not from a Christian perspective:
Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science Charles Wheelan. A nice primer written in accessible English without graphs or math equations.
The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good William Easterly. A wonderful examination of economic development in developing nations. (A bit long.) (My book review)
The Birth of Plenty: How the Prosperity of the Modern World was Created. William Bernstein. A very readable and insightful, if somewhat long, history of how our modern economic system came to be.
I've done some writing of my own at this blog. Theology and Economics