Honor granted by Thomas F. Staley Foundation in response to Schultz’s research on market economics and poverty
Walter Schultz, Ph.D., Northwestern College Professor of Biblical & Theological Studies, was recently selected as a Staley Distinguished Scholar for his work on Christian responses to market economics and poverty. This honor was granted by the Thomas F. Staley Foundation which believes the message of the Christian gospel is contemporary, relevant and meaningful in any generation.
Earlier this spring, Schultz was invited to speak at Cedarville University at a conference entitled “Continuing the Conversation: Challenging the Market to Redeem the Poor.” He urged faculty and students to bring biblical principles to bear on how they think about the market and how their view of their own wealth affects the poor.
“Our identity is neither in property ownership, nor in our place in the economic game,” said Schultz. “We are stewards of whatever talents, gifts, grace and wealth God has entrusted to us.”
Schultz presented in various venues including a panel, faculty and school-wide presentations and lunch discussion groups—one of which prompted an hour-long Q&A session. Cedarville’s business and economics faculty have requested that he return again for more interaction. The conference hosted three keynote speakers: Schultz; Jim Wallis, editor of Soujourners magazine; and Marvin Olasky, editor of WORLD magazine.
Schultz’s presentation was an outgrowth of his doctoral work and book, The Moral Conditions of Economic Efficiency, in which he proves mathematically that for a society to consistently achieve the economic common good, its market procedures must involve a set of moral rights and obligations.
In 1997 Schultz argued his case with Nobel Peace Prize winner (2007), Leonid Hurwicz, who was then the Regents Professor of Economics at the University of Minnesota. The two scholars spent many hours discussing and arguing the subject, with Hurwicz demanding thorough examination of Schultz’s work—a factor Schultz believes to have contributed to the Staley Scholar selection.
Last year Schultz was selected as a keynote speaker at the Northwestern College Scholarship Symposium. He discussed two different approaches to a directly related issue in social choice theory, including his paper, Arrow’s Theorem, Sen’s Paradox and a Social Decision Mechanism for Optimal Market Outcomes which is currently being reviewed by an academic journal for publication.