HCN Webinar - “Religion and the Rise of Capitalism” with the preeminent Harvard Economist, Prof. Benjamin M. Friedman AB `66 PhD `71, the William Joseph Maier Professor of Political Economy and former Chairman of the Department of Economics at Harvard University,
at noon on Friday, February 12, 2021


Join us on Friday, February 12, at noon for a presentation & conversation with Harvard Professor Benjamin M. Friedman.  Professor Friedman is one of the nation’s preeminent experts on economic policy, and will join us for this webinar to discuss his new book, “Religion and the Rise of Capitalism.”  This book is a major reassessment of the foundations of modern economic thinking that explores the profound influence of an until-now unrecognized force – religion.  Illuminating the origins of the relationship between religious thinking and economic thinking, together with its ongoing consequences, Prof. Friedman will provide invaluable insights into our current economic policy debates and the ways it shapes more functional policies for all citizens.

This is a FREE event, but registration is required (registration link below).  This is a joint event with the Harvard Club of Sarasota. The webinar will be moderated by Club President, Trey Farmer.  After Prof. Friedman's presentation, there will be time for Q&A.  We will utilize the Q&A function in the Zoom Webinar for the submission of questions.  We will take as many questions as time allows.  The webinar will last for approximately one hour. 

Click on the Link Below to Register for the Webinar: 



Critics of contemporary economics complain that belief in free markets–among economists as well as many ordinary citizens–is a form of religion. And, it turns out, that in a deeper, more historically grounded sense there is something to that idea. Contrary to the conventional historical view of economics as an entirely secular product of the Enlightenment, Benjamin M. Friedman demonstrates that religion exerted a powerful influence from the outset. Friedman makes clear how the foundational transition in thinking about what we now call economics, beginning in the eighteenth century, was decisively shaped by the hotly contended lines of religious thought within the English-speaking Protestant world. Beliefs about God-given human character, about the after-life, and about the purpose of our existence, were all under scrutiny in the world in which Adam Smith and his contemporaries lived. Friedman explores how those debates go far in explaining the puzzling behavior of so many of our fellow citizens whose views about economic policies–and whose voting behavior–seems sharply at odds with what would be to their own economic benefit.


Professor Benjamin M. Friedman is the William Joseph Maier Professor of Political Economy, and formerly Chairman of the Department of Economics, at Harvard University. He has written extensively on economic policy, and in particular on the role of the financial markets in shaping how monetary and fiscal policies affect overall economic activity. His book Day of Reckoning: The Consequences of American Economic Policy Under Reagan and After (Random House, 1988) received the George S. Eccles Prize, awarded annually by Columbia University for excellence in writing about economics. His work has also addressed broader questions concerning economics and economic policy. His book The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth (Knopf, 2005) examined the political and social implications of growth versus economic stagnation.

In addition to Day of Reckoning and The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth, Mr. Friedman is the author and/or editor of nine other books, aimed primarily at economists and economic policymakers, as well as the author of more than one hundred fifty articles on monetary economics, macroeconomics, and monetary and fiscal policy, published in numerous journals. Specific subjects of this work include the effects of government deficits and surpluses on interest rates, exchange rates, and business investment; appropriate guidelines for the conduct of U.S. monetary policy; and appropriate policy actions in response to crises in a country's banking or financial system. He is also a frequent contributor to publications reaching a broader audience, including especially The New York Review of Books.

Mr. Friedman's current professional activities include serving as a director and member of the editorial board of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, a director of the Private Export Funding Corporation, a trustee of the Pioneer Funds, and a director of the National Council on Economic Education. In addition, he has served as director of financial markets and monetary economics research at the National Bureau of Economic Research, as a member of the National Science Foundation Subcommittee on Economics, as an adviser to the Congressional Budget Office and to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, as a trustee of the College Retirement Equities Fund, and as a director of the American Friends of Cambridge University. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Mr. Friedman joined the Harvard faculty in 1972. Before then he worked with Morgan Stanley & Co., investment bankers in New York. He had also worked in consulting or other capacities with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Mr. Friedman received the A.B., A.M. and Ph.D. degrees in economics from Harvard University; during his graduate study at Harvard he was a Junior Fellow of the Society of Fellows. In addition, he received the M.Sc. degree in economics and politics from King's College, Cambridge (U.K.), where he studied as a Marshall Scholar.  Among other awards, Mr. Friedman was the 2005-6 recipient of the John R. Commons Award, presented every two years in recognition of achievements in economics and service to the economics profession, and in 2008 he received the Medal of the Italian Senate.

Don't miss this exciting webinar with Professor Friedman!


Friday, February 12, 2021



12:00PM ET - the webinar will last one hour


Click on the Link Below to Register for the Webinar: 



There are 2 ways to be a part of the webinar: with video and without video (audio only).   After registering you will receive an email with the Zoom Webinar link (for video and audio) and the telephone numbers to dial-in to the webinar (audio only). 



Contact Information:

Trey Farmer, Club President




12:00PM - 1:00PM Fri 12 Feb 2021, Eastern timezone


Zoom Webinar - Virtual Event

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