Clemens Lecture Series

About the Chair

Daniel FinnDaniel Finn

William E. and Virginia Clemens Professor of Economics and the Liberal Arts
Academic Degrees:
  • Ph.D., 1977, University of Chicago: Religious Social Ethics
  • M.A., 1975, University of Chicago:  Economics
  • B.S., 1968 , St. John Fisher College: Mathematics
Work Experience

1977-present Joint Appointment in Theology & Economics, St. John's University and College of Saint Benedict

1984-89 Dean of the School of Theology, St. John'sUniversity

1982-84 Chair, Department of Economics and Business Administration, St. John’s University

1971-73 Instructor in Calculus and Algebra, CardinalMooneyHigh School, Rochester, NY

1968-69 Director of Vocational Programs and Staff Coordinator for Migrant Labor Camps, Project REACH, Perkinsville, NY

Membership in Professional Associations:
  • American Economic Association
  • Association for Evolutionary Economics
  • Association for Social Economics
  • Catholic Theological Society of America
  • College Theology Society
  • Society of Christian Ethics
Positions Held

2009    President of the Society of Christian Ethics

2006-07 President of Catholic Theological Society of America (CTSA)

1986    President, Association for Social Economics

1985-87 President, Midwest Association of Theological Schools

2006-present   Board of Directors, Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies

2012-13 Chair of the CTSA ad hoc Committee on Theological Diversity

2006-present   Director of the Research Project, The True Wealth of Nations, Institute for   Advanced Catholic Studies

2012-14 “Assessor” for anti-corruption activities, The Department of Justice and Solidarity, Latin American Bishops’ Conference (CELAM).   

2002-08 Board of Directors, Catholic Theological Society of America      

1988-92 &    Board of Directors, Society of Christian Ethics


2005-06 Chair of CTSA ad hoc Committee on Convention Restructuring     

2002-04 Chair of the CTSA Ad Hoc Committee on the Current Crisis in the Church.

2000-01 Representative of the Catholic Theological Society of America to the U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Committee on the Mandatum

2000-02 Chair of CTSA Ad Hoc Committee on the Mandatum.

1995-present   Referee for The Forum for Social Economics

1994-present   Referee for Journal of Religious Ethics

1991-present   Referee for Horizons

1989-98 Editorial Board, Churches' Center/Abingdon Press Series on Public Policy & Religion

1987-present   Referee for Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics

1987-89 Vice President, Minnesota Consortium of Theological Schools

1987-2003    Convener, Political Economy Interest Group, Society of Christian Ethics

1978-86 Member of Steering Committee, Political Economy Interest Group, Society of Christian Ethics

1977-present   Referee for Review of Social Economy

1978-83 Chairperson and Convener, Social Ethics Working Group on Economic Justice, AmericanAcademy of Religion

2010-14 Member of National Executive Council of the Association for Social

1983-85 &   Economics


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2017 Empirical Foundations of the Common Good: What Theology Can Learn from Social Science, Editor, Oxford University Press.

2014 Distant Markets, Distant Harms: Market Complicity and Christian Ethics, Editor, Oxford University Press.

2013 Christian Economic Ethics: History and Implications, Fortress Press.

2012    The Moral Dynamics of Economic Life: An Extension and Critique of Caritas in Veritate, Editor, Oxford University Press.

2010 True Wealth of Nations: Catholic Social Thought and Economic Life, Editor, Oxford University Press.

2006 The Moral Ecology of Markets: Assessing Claims about Markets and Justice, Cambridge University Press.

1996 Just Trading: On the Ethics and Economics of International Trade, Abingdon Press.

1989   Theology of Priesthood and Seminary Formation Issues of Assembling II, Daniel Finn,, editors, National Catholic Educational Association, 1989.

1985   Toward a Christian Economic Ethic: Stewardship and Social Power, with Prentiss L. Pemberton, Winston/Seabury.

1980 Readings in Ethics for the Analysis of Values, Edited by Daniel Finn, Linda Hansen, Robert Joyce, and Roger Kasprick, O.S.B., Ginn Publishing.


2017 “A Critical Realist Model of Markets: Understanding the Causality Behind Economic Complicity,” Faith and Economics, no. 69, Spring.

2016 “What Is a Sinful Social Structure?” Theological Studies, vol 77, no. 1, March.

2015 “Catholicism and Modernity: What Economic Doctrines Can Teach Us,” Integritas, vol. 6, no. 2.

2015 “Can an Organization Have a Conscience?” in David E. DeCosse and Kristen E. Heyer, eds., Conscience & Catholicism: Rights, Responsibilities, Institutional Responses, Maryknoll, New York.  

2014 “Ubicuidad de la corrupción,” in Regina Ammicht Quinn, Luiz Carolos Susin y Lisa Sowle Cahill , eds., Revista Internacional de Teolgia: Concilium, November.

2014 “Justice in Markets: What is Required?,” Journal of Catholic Social Thought, vol. II, no. 2, Summer.

2014 "Tanto el don como el contrato: Un marco para relacionar la caridad y la justicia del mercado", in Octavio Groppa y Carlos Hoevel, eds., Economía del don: perspectivas para latinoamerica, Buenos Aires: Ciudad Nueva.

2014 “Philosophy, Not Theology, Is the Key for Economics: A Catholic Perspective,” Econ Journal Watch, vol. 11, #2, May.

2012 “Locating Business Ethics within Catholic Social Thought,” Cultura Económica, vol. 30, no. 84, December.

2012 “Private Property, Self-Regulation, and Just Price: A Response to Philip Booth and Samuel Gregg,” Journal of Markets and Morality, vol. 15, no.2, Fall.

2012 “Human Work in Catholic Social Thought,” in Kenneth R. Lord, ed., Two Views of Social Justice: A Catholic/Georgist Dialogue, Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell. Also published in the American Journal of Economics and Sociology, vol. 71, no. 4, October, 2012.

2012    “Catholic Social Thought as an Empirical Claim, in Mark J. Allman, ed., The Almighty and the Dollar: Reflections on Economic Justice for All, Winona, MN: Anselm Academic.

2011 “Charity and Truth in Business: Profit, Gift and Social Capital,” Origins, vol. 41, no. 10, July 21.

2011 “Nine Libertarian Heresies that Tempt Neo-Conservative Catholics to Stray from Catholic Social Teaching,” (and “A Rejoinder” to two respondents), Journal of Markets and Morality, vol. 14, no. 2, Fall.

2011 “Power, Leadership, and the Struggle against Government Corruption,” in Douglas A. Hicks and Thad Wiliamson, eds., Leadership and Global Justice, New York, Palgrave Macmillion.

2011 “Benedict XVI and Liberation Theology: Reason, Will, and History.” In Horizons, vol. 38, #2, Fall, 274-283.

2010 “Theology and Sustainable Economics,” in Richard W. Miller, ed., God, Creation, and Climate Change: A Catholic Response to the Environmental Crisis, Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books.

2010 “The Promise of Interdisciplinary Engagement: Christian Ethics and Economics as a Test Case,” Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics, vol. 30, no.2, Fall/Winter.

2010    “The Morality of Markets: A Response to Kenneth Melchin,” The Lonergan Review, vol. 2, no. 1, Spring.

2009 “Moral Values and the Rules of International Trade,” in Steven Rundle, ed., Economic Justice in a Flat World: Christian Perspectives on Globalization, Paternoster Press.

2009 “The Priority of Labor over Capital: Some Needed Extensions,” Journal of Catholic Social Thought, vol. 6, no. 1, Winter.

2007 “Continuing the Dialogue on Markets and Morality,” Author’s response to three reviews of Daniel Finn, The Moral Ecology of Markets: Assessing Claims about Markets and Justice, Symposium in Faith and Economics, no. 49, Spring.

2007 “Power and Public Presence in Catholic Social Thought, the Church, and the CTSA,” CTSA Proceedings, vol. 62, pp. 62-77. Also available as “The Catholic Theological Society of America and the Bishops,” Origins, vol. 37, no 6, June 21.

2005 “Commentary on Centesimus annus,” in Kenneth Himes, ed., Modern Catholic Social Teaching: Commentaries and Interpretations, Georgetown University Press.

2003 “The Foundations of Economic Personalism: Promise and Peril,” Markets and Morality, vol. 6, no. 2.

2003 “The Moral Ecology of Markets: On the Failure of the Amoral Defense of Markets,” Review of Social Economy, vol.61, #2, June.

2001 “Catholic Social Thought on Property: An Urgent Need for Extension and Renewal,” in Religion and Public Life: The Legacy of Monsignor John A. Ryan, Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America.

2000 “On the Choice of Method in Economics: Options for Humanists,” Journal of Markets & Morality, vol.3, #2.

2000 “Creativity as a Problem for Moral Theology: John Locke’s 99 Percent Challenge to the Catholic Doctrine of Property,” Horizons, vol. 27, #1, Spring.

2000 “On the Rationale for Third World Debt Relief,” Faith and Economics, #35, Spring.

1999 “Condiciones para un mercado justo,” Persona y Sociedad (ILADES, Santiago, Chile) August.

1999 “The Economic Personalism of John Paul II: Neither Right Nor Left,” Journal of Markets and Morality, vol. 2, #1, Spring.

1998 “John Paul II and The Moral Ecology of Markets,” Theological Studies, vol. 59, #4, December.

1998 “Discerning the Causes of Globalization,” in Julio de Santa Ana, ed., Sustainability and Globalization, Geneva, Switzerland: WCC Publications.

1998 “La moralidad y el mercado: la estructura de la evaluación moral de sistemas económicos,” La Ley (Universidad Austral, Buenos Aires), vol. 4, #3, July 30.

1997 "Valuing the Future: On the Ethics and Economics of Discounting Future Events in Public Policy," The Annual of the Society of Christian Ethics, vol. 17.

1997  "Morality, Markets, and Government: The Structure of a Christian Moral Assessment of Economic Systems," in Thomas G. Walsh and Frank Kaufmann, eds., Christianity in the Americas: Ecumenical Essays, New York: The Inter-Religious Federation for World Peace.

1997 "Institutional Processes from John R. Commons to Michael Walzer: An Image of the Market as a Sphere of Human Interaction," Journal of Economic Issues, vol. XXXI, no. 2, June

1995 “The Four Problems of Economic Life,” in On Moral Business: Classical and Contemporary Resources for Ethics in Economic Life, Edited by Max L. Stackhouse, Dennis P. McCann, and Shirley J. Roels with Preston N. Williams, William B. Eedmans Publishing Company.

1994 "Employment in the US: Public Discourse and Long term Trends," Forum for Social Economics, Vol. 23 #2, Spring.

1994 "International Trade and Sustainable Community: Religious Values and Economic Arguments in Moral Debates," Journal of Religious Ethics, Vol. 22, No. 2, Fall.

1994 "Economic Order", The New Dictionary of Catholic Social Thought, ed. J.A. Dwyer, Michael Glazer Books, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN.

1993 "Poverty and Prosperity in Global Economics: Making Sense of Conflicting Claims" in Mary E. Stamps, ed., To Do Justice and Right Upon the Earth: Papers from the Virgil Michel Symposium on Liturgy and Social Justice, Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press.

1992 "The Meaning of Money:  A View From Economics," American Behavioral Scientist, Vol. 35, # 6, July-Aug.

1989 "Self-Interest, Markets and the Four Problems of Economic Life," Annual of the Society of Christian Ethics.

1989 "Theological Scholarship: Freedom and Responsibility in the Seminary Setting," in Daniel Finn, Zeni Fox, John O'Malley and Robert Schwartz, Theology of Priesthood and Seminary Formation: Issues of Assembly II, Washington, D.C.: National Catholic Education Association.

1987 "Economic Individualism and the Prospects for Civilizing Enterprise" in W. Widick Schroeder, and F.I. Gamwell, ed., Economic Life: Process Interpretations and Critical Responses, Chicago: Center for the Scientific Study of Religion.

1987 "When Are Economic Explanations Persuasive?  A View from Social Economics,” Review of Social Economy, April.

1986 "The Church and the Economy in the Modern World," in Judith A. Dwyer, SSJ, ed., Questions of Special Importance:  The Church in the Modern World—Two Decades After Vatican II, Washington, D.C.: GeorgetownUniversity Press.

1986 "Contributions of Orthodox Economics to Ethical Reflection," in Bruce Grille and David A. Krueger, ed., Christianity and Capitalism:  Perspectives on Religion, Liberalism, and the Economy, Chicago: Council for the Social Scientific Study of Religion.

1984 "Ethical Dimensions of the Debate on Economic Planning," in John W. Houk and Oliver F. Williams, ed., Catholic Social Teaching and the United States Economy, Washington, D.C.: University Press of America.

1982 "The Ethical Orientations of Schools of Economic Thought," Annual of the Society of Christian Ethics.

1979 "Objectivity in Economics:  On the Choice of a Scientific Method," Review of Social Economy, April.

1977 “A Note on the Generality of Human Behavior and Economic Philosophy,” The Forum for Social Economics, vol. 7, no. 1, Spring.

1976 "Norm and Method in Normative Economics," Forum for Social Economics, Spring.

Reviews and Other Publications

2017 “Recycling Isn’t Enough: A Defense of Responsible Mining,” Commonweal, vol. 144, no. 8, May 5

2014 “Understanding Scarcity: How Being Poor is Like Being Too Busy,” in Commonweal, vol. 141, no. 19, December 5.

2014 “Smart Money: The Economic Case for Funding Pre-K,” Commonweal, vol. 139, no. 15, November.

2013    “Gamed: What Wall Street has in Common with the Olympics,” Commonweal, vol. 140, no. 6, March 22.

2012   “Dear Prudence: Translating Moral Principle into Public Policy,” Commonweal, vol. 139, no.18, October 26.

2012 “Commerce as Compromise,” America, vol. 207, no. 4, August, 13-20.

2012 Review of Edward J. O’Boyle, ed., Looking Beyond the Individualism and Homo Economicus of Neoclassical Economics: a Collection of Original Essays Dedicated to the Memory of Peter L. Danner, Our Friend and Colleague, in Faith and Economics, no. 59, spring.

2012 “The Priority of Labor: Romney, Bain Capital and Catholic Social Teaching,” Commonweal, vol. 139, #13, July 13.

2011 Review of Christian Theology and Market Economics, Ian R. Harper and Samuel Gregg (eds.), History of Economic Ideas, 2011, vol. 19, #1.

2011 “When Is Self-interest Moral?” Commonweal, vol. 138, #21, December 2.

2010 “Uncertainty Principle: The Bishops, Health Care & Prudence,” Commonweal, vol. 137, no. 6, March, 18-20.

2010 “Mind the Gap,” Review of Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett’s The Sprit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger,” In Commonweal, vol. 137, #13, July 16.

2010 “Benedict’s Third Way,” The Tablet, March 13.

2009 “Economics of Charity: Pope Benedict’s ‘Caritas in Veritate,’” Commonweal, vol. 126, no. 14, August.

2009 “Pope Offers an Economics for Our Times,” op ed piece, Star Tribune, July 10.

2009 “The Pope’s Integrated Vision,” op ed piece, St. Paul/Minneapolis Archdiocese, The Spirit and St. Cloud Diocese The Visitor, July.

2009 “Can this Market be Saved? and interview with Daniel Finn,” U. S. Catholic, vol. 74, no. 3, March.

2008 “Libertarian Heresy: The Fundamentalism of Free-Market Theology,” Commonweal, vol. 137, no. 16, September 26.

2006 “Preface: The Christian View of Wealth,” Helen Alford, O.P., et. al., Rediscovering Abundance: Interdisciplinary Essays on Wealth, Income, and Their Distribution in the Catholic Social Tradition, University of Notre Dame Press.

2006 Review of Albino Barrera, Economic Compulsion and Christian Ethics, Cambridge University Press, in Journal of Markets and Morality, vol. 9, no. 2, Fall.

2005 “Hello, Catholics: Republicans & Targeting of Religious Votes,” Commonweal, vol. 132, no. 19, November 4.

2004 “Misreading the Pope,” Review of Rebecca M. Blank and William McGurn’s Is the Market Moral, Commonweal, vol. 13, no 17, October 8.

2003 “The Current Crisis in the Church: Introductory Comments,” Proceedings of the Catholic Theological Society of America, vol. 58.

2003 “A Religious Challenge to Both Orthodox and Heterodox Economics,” Review of Stephen D. Long’s Divine Economy: Theology and the Market, in Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology, vol. 21-A.

2002 “God and Goods: Economics as if Theology Mattered,” Review of D. Stephen Long’s Divine Economy: Theology and the Market, The Christian Century, vol. 119, #7, March 27.

2002 Review of Albino Barrera’s Modern Catholic Social Documents and Political Economy, Horizons, vol. 29, #2, Fall.

2000 “Theologians, Catholic Higher Education, and the Mandatum: Report to the Ad Hoc Committee on the Mandatum,” The Catholic Theological Society of America. Daniel Finn, Chair, with John P. Boyle, Lisa Sowle Cahill, James A. Coriden, Robert A. Krieg, M. Theresa Moser, James H. Provost, September.

2000 Review of The Market Economy and Christian Ethics by Peter H. Sedgwick, in The Christian Century, vol. 117, #22, August 2.

2000 Review of Richard C. Bayer’s Capitalism and Christianity: The Possibility of Christian Personalism, Horizons, vol. 27, #2, Fall.

2000 “A Thoroughly Embodied Economics: A Review of Personalist Economics by Edward J. Boyle,” Review of Social Economy, vol. 56, #4, December

1998 “Catholic Social Teaching and Labor Unions,” St. Cloud Visitor, September 17.

1998 “Quarks, Tropes, and the Suicide Squeeze,” Symposium, no. 16.

1997 “Monologue and Dialogue in Christian Economic Ethics,” Journal of Religious Ethics, vol. 25, #2 Fall.

1996 "Three Cheers for the Gas Tax," The Christian Century, vol. 113, no. 23, July 31.

1996 "Thinking Religiously About Economic Life," The Christian Century, vol. 113, no. 14, April 24.

1994 Review of Michael L. Budde's The Two Churches: Catholicism and Capitalism in the World-System, in Horizons, vol. 21, #2, Fall.

1993 Review of Mary Hobgood's Catholic Social Teaching and Economic Theory: Paradigms in Conflict, in Horizons, Vol. 20, #1, Spring.

1993 "NAFTA: Assessing the Issues", St. Cloud Visitor, Nov. 11.

1991 Review of M. Douglas Meeks' God the Economist, in Journal of Religion, July.

1989 "Self-Interest: Good and Bad," guest columnist, Catholic Bulletin, November.

1988 Review of J. Phillip Wogaman's Economics and Ethics:  A Christian Inquiry in Horizons, Vol. 15, #1, Spring.

1987 Review of Franz H. Mueller's "The Church and the Social Question," Review of Social Economy, April.

1986 Review of George Lodge's The American Disease, in New Catholic World, July.

1984 "Economics and Christian Values," with P. L. Pemberton, Commonweal, November.

1984 "Christian Ethics and Debate Over Economic Planning," New Catholic World, July/August.

1983 "Listening to Men's Voices", St. John's University, Symposium, #2.


2008 Monica Hellwig Award from the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities for outstanding contributions to Catholic intellectual life

2005 Thomas F. Divine Award from the Association for Social Economics for lifetime contributions to social economics ans the social economy, January

2000 Robert L. Spaeth Teacher of Distinction Award, Saint John’sUniversity.

2012 Ludwig Mai Service Award from the Association for Social Economics for exceptional service to the Association.

2014 Minnesota Campus Compact “Civic Engagement Steward Award.”

Other Recognition

Listed in:

  • Who’s Who in America
  • Who’s Who in American Education
  • Who's Who in Religion
  • Who's Who in Business and Finance
  • Who's Who in Science and Engineering

The Clemens Chair in Economics and the Liberal Arts and the Clemens Lecture Series have been made possible by the generosity of William E. and Virginia Clemens.

College of Saint Benedict
Saint John’s University

Daniel Finn
Clemens Chair of Economics and the Liberal Arts
CSB Main 319

Judy Shank
SJU Simons Hall 246