Reformed economics
Alumni-faculty working group wrestles with recession

Economics working groupIn November, 12 Calvin alumni and faculty members had their first meeting of a new joint working group that is looking at the economic crisis from a faith perspective. The group, the second of its kind under the program title “Developing Christian Perspectives” (DCP), is sponsored by funding from the Calvin Alumni Association and the Calvin Center on Christian Scholarship. The group includes alumni from a variety of fields, including banking, small business, nonprofit and journalism. They are joined by a variety of faculty from economics, business, mathematics and political science.

Together, the group is discussing one central issue: What have we learned from this economic crisis, and how should our faith inform our response?

Spark readers can join the group in some of its readings. The first set includes an article titled “Financial Crisis and the Culture of Risk” [you can read "Financial Crisis and the Culture of Risk" on the Perspectives --a journal of Reformed thought---Web site] by Calvin economics professor John Tiemstra, who is co-chairing the reading group, as well as two books: Barry Johnson’s Polarity Management: Identifying and Managing Unsolvable Problems and Robert H. Frank’s What Price the Moral High Ground? Ethical Dilemmas in Competitive Environments.

Alumni working group members are co-chair and organizational consultant Georgina Veldhorst ’90, housing advocate/executive Jonathan Bradford ’71 Miami Herald journalist Niala Boodhoo ’97, Milwaukee businessman Milt Kuyers ’57 and Internet research company president Robert Ottenhoff ’70.

Calvin faculty in the group are co-chair Tiemstra, Margaret Edgell (business), Doug Koopman (political science), Tom Jager (mathematics), Scott Vander Linde (economics) and Leonard Van Drunen (business).

The working group meets again in February.