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Most people don’t think of economics as having a religious basis, and may question whether religion affects people’s views of economic issues. But in his recent book, ‘Religion and the Rise of Capitalism,’ our guest on EconoFact Chats this week, Professor Benjamin Friedman of Harvard University, discusses the influence of religion on economics, including how the ideas of the Social Gospel and the Gospel of Wealth played a role in the development of American economic thinking in the late 19th century, how religious thinking influenced people’s views of economic policy in the 20th century, and how that influence continues to the present day.

Professor Friedman is the William Joseph Maier Professor of Political Economy at Harvard University. He has authored over 170 scholarly articles, and written or edited a dozen books, including The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth.

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