Jay Richards, Ph.D.
R-MC Business/Economics Professor David Brat
and Jay Richards
Randolph-Macon College welcomed nationally known capitalism advocate and author
Jay Richards to campus on Tuesday, October 12, 2010. Richards discussed capitalism
and ethics with economic, business and religious studies students and encouraged
them to debate what he calls “myths and misconceptions about capitalism.”
Richards is the author of Money, Greed and God: Why Capitalism is the Solution and
Not the Problem (HarperOne, 2009), which reviews eight myths about capitalism. Richards
uses natural law reasoning within a broader faith perspective to debunk these myths.
He believes that his approach to capitalism is fully consistent with Jesus' teachings
and the Judeo-Christian tradition. He argues that capitalism rightly understood
includes a robust set of institutions to provide the rule of law and will provide
us with an economic system that is both highly productive and ethically suited to
channel both our vices and virtues toward the social good.
Community and religious leaders, as well as R-MC faculty and alumni, were invited
to participate in the debate. Guests included Frank E. “Pepper” Laughon Jr. ’59,
Duncan United Memorial United Methodist Church Pastor David Hindman ’72 and R-MC
Professors Jerry Ross (religious studies),
Hal Breitenberg (religious studies) and Ben Huff (philosophy).
Richards is a senior fellow of the Discovery Institute and a contributing editor
for The American at the American Enterprise Institute. In recent years he has been
a visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation and a research fellow and director
of Acton Media at the Acton Institute. He has written many academic articles, books
and essays on a wide variety of subjects. Richards earned his Ph.D. in theology
and philosophy from Princeton Theological Seminary.
In 2009, Randolph-Macon College received a $500,000 grant from the BB&T Charitable
Foundation. The grant is being used to expand the study of ethics, economics and
capitalism through a broadened curriculum, faculty and student research, internships
and one-on-one interaction with business leaders.
R-MC Professor David Brat, who chairs the economics and business department, was
instrumental in bringing Richards to campus. “This is the debate of our time,” said
Brat. “With the current state of our country, the timing for Richards’ visit could
not be better.”
Brat joined the R-MC faculty in 1996. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business
administration at Hope College, a Master of Divinity in philosophy and theology
from Princeton Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. in economics from The American University.
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