People and Project

in Friends of the Unrighteous Mammon

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2008 | ISBN: 9780226137063
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226137087 | DOI:
People and Project

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In spite of the ethical questions and religious problems raised by political economy, some antebellum Christians enthusiastically embraced the new discipline and saw it as thoroughly consistent with their religious commitments. This small but influential group of Protestant educators thought that they had solved the religious difficulties that had accompanied the birth of their discipline, and they wanted to share their happy resolutions with the rest of the country. These five men—John McVickar, Henry Vethake, Alonzo Potter, Francis Wayland, and Francis Bowen—made up what some historians have called “the clerical school” of political economy. Their common project, although not the central purpose of their lives, was to introduce Americans to a Christianized version of political economy, “clerical laissez faire,” as Henry F. May called it.

Keywords: political economy; Christians; John McVickar; Henry Vethake; Alonzo Potter; Francis Wayland; Francis Bowen; clerical school; Henry F. May

Chapter.  5473 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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