2023 Colloquium Theme:

Thomism and Economics

Join us for three panels of scholars presenting their cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research on this topic, as well as a plenary lecture from Dr. Mary Hirschfeld.


Jordan Ballor

Dr. Mary Hirschfeld works on the boundaries between theology and economics using an approach rooted in the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas. She has written on economic inequality, the technocratic paradigm, the financial crisis and the common good. She completed a Ph.D. in economics (Harvard University) under the direction of Lawrence Summers and Jeffrey Williamson, and a Ph.D. in Moral Theology (University of Notre Dame) under the direction of Jean Porter. Her research is on the boundary between economics and theology, culminating in her book Aquinas and the Market: Toward a Humane Economy (Harvard University Press, 2018).

The conference will be held at the Acton Institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Friday, November 3, 2023.



9:30am       Coffee reception and Registration

10:00- 11:30am     Short Paper Panel

  • Paul Oslington, “The Invisible Hands of Adam Smith and Thomas Aquinas”
  • Rebecca Supriya Shah/Timothy Samuel Shah, “When Development is Not Enough: Understanding the Limits of Poverty and Relief Efforts in a Post-COVID World”
  • Paul Jensen, “Philosophers, Justice, and the Poor”
  • Paul Rezkalla, “What Hath Peter Singer to do with Thomas Aquinas?”

11:30- 12:00pm     Coffee Break

12:00- 1:00pm    Lunch: Acton Lecture Series Plenary Address

  • Mary Hirschfeld, “Aquinas and the Market”

1:00- 1:30pm      Coffee Break

1:30- 3:00pm      Second Short Paper Panel

  • Michael D. Thomas, “A Just and Tolerant Commercial Society Requires an Orientation to the Good”
  • Clara E. Piano, “Familial Liberty: Property and Family in Late Scholastic Thought”
  • Paul J. Radich and Frederic Sautet, “The Thomistic Virtues of the Entrepreneur”
  • Daniel C. Wagner, “A Thomistic-Aristotelian Model of Environmental Philosophy & Sustainability”

3:00- 3:30pm     Coffee Break

3:30- 5:00pm      Third Short Paper Panel

  • Antônio Lemos, “The Virtuous Wolf: Unleashing Thomist Virtue Ethics in Wall Street”
  • Van Mobley, “Luther, the Thomists, and Monopolies”
  • James M. Patterson, “The Forgotten History of an Eighteenth-Century Thomistic Usury Debate”
  • Matthew J. Advent, “Thomists on Usury from the Middle Ages to the Industrial Revolution”

5:00- 5:30pm     Closing Remarks

5:30pm     End of Conference


The registration fee is $25. Group registrations (5 or more persons) are available for a discounted rate of $20 per person.

For further details, contact Dylan Pahman, executive editor, Journal of Markets & Morality, dpahman@acton.org.