A well-trained theologian, a gifted and dedicated teacher of economics for over forty years, and the author of a highly regarded and widely used textbook, The Economic Way of Thinking, Paul Heyne influenced generations of students of economics. Many of the essays in this volume are published here for the first time. The editors, Geoffrey Brennan and A. M. C. Waterman, have divided Heyne’s essays thematically to cover three general areas: the ethical foundations of free markets, the connection between those ethical foundations and Christian thought, and the teaching of economics—both method and substance.
Heyne’s writings are unique in that he takes the critics of the free market order seriously and addresses their arguments directly, showing how they are defective in their understanding of economics and in their ethical and theological underpinnings. The engaging style of Heyne’s essays makes them accessible to students as well as to scholars. Even in discussions of topics well beyond the fundamental level, Heyne still succeeds in providing students with an appreciation of basic economic principles.
"Christian faith and economic science remained in creative tension for the whole of Paul Heyne’s professional life. However, there was at least one fundamental respect in which he viewed the two through exactly the same lens, and this similarity may be a key to unlock his deliberately unsystematic and heterogeneous thought. Each is a “way”; neither is a destination. Economics is a way of thinking. Too much sophisticated technique may become an end in itself and divert our attention from the real world. Christianity is a way of life. Too much “interest in doctrine” can divide us from one another and divert our attention from faith, hope, and charity. To engage in either “way” is to join with others who are already embarked on a journey of exploration that no one expects to end during his or her own life.”
– Introduction, XXI
Paul Theodore Heyne (2 November 1931 - 9 March 2000) was a lecturer in economics for nearly a quarter century at the University of Washington in Seattle, United States. Heyne taught at Valparaiso University (1957–66), Southern Methodist University (1966–76), and the University of Washington (1976–2000). He was a well-trained theologian, a gifted and dedicated teacher of economics for over forty years, and the author of a highly regarded and widely used textbook, The Economic Way of Thinking which has gone through 11 editions.
Heyne received two divinity degrees from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, took his master's degree at Washington University and his Ph.D. in ethics and society at the University of Chicago. He came to the UW in 1976, and reportedly turned down a tenured position to become a senior lecturer because of his interest in teaching undergraduates.
Heyne promoted economics through his interests with religion, social issues, justice and free market economies. His best known work was his critically acclaimed introductory textbook The Economic Way of Thinking, which sold 200,000 copies in Russia alone and has been translated in Bulgarian (1995), Czech, Hungarian, Romanian and other languages. Heyne was committed to undergraduate education, and was widely regarded as being a highly effective teacher of economics.