Given Randolph Macon College Economics Professor David Brat's stunning victory in the Republican primary in Virginia's 7th Congressional District yesterday I suppose it's time to add to my list of the academic writings of the now-famous. Dr. Brat (cv last updated in 2012 here) holds a Ph.D. in economics from American Univeristy (as well as a master's from Princeton Theological Seminary). His Ph.D. dissertation was “Essays on Human Capital, Religion, and Growth” and his master's thesis was “The Impact of the Philosophical Movement, Logical Positivism, on the Methodology of Economic Science: Karl Popper and Milton Friedman." His interests include economic history and the history of ideas.
Man, though, I'd love to see the syllabus for his course on "economic justice and social change." I think perhaps Stacey Gahagan and I could write a follow-up to our article on Professor Obama's race and law syllabus.
Update: the internets have come through for me again! Here's his 2004 syllabus on "The Ends of Economic Justice." (An economics blog puts this course into some context.) Looks like it covers pretty similar material to his Economics 370 course, "Economic Justice." The RMC website describes the course as covering:
An historical examination of the major conceptions of economic justice primarily in the western world. Major ethical schools of thought include the Socratic/Platonic/Aristotelian, the Judeo-Christian, and the Enlightenment school of Locke, Rousseau, Kant, Mill and Marx. Finally, contemporary moral theorists such as John Rawls and Eobert Nozick will be used to compare/contrast this legacy of ethical thought with the orthodox models of economic thought, as represented in the writings of economists such as Adam Smith, John Maynard Keynes and Milton Friedman.
Journalists are already deep into Brat's writings -- including the Wall Street Journal's "Who Is David Brat? Meet the Economics Professor Who Defeated Eric Cantor" and Vox' "The guy who beat Eric Cantor penned a scathing, seemingly unpublished book about the economics profession." By the way if you're looking for his book, "The Philosophy of Economics: A History of Science, Method and Ethics," the wayback machine has it. It also has his paper on "Economc Growth and Institutions: The Rise and Fall of the Protestant Ethic?"
After spending more time than I should have this morning reading Brat's work I think I need to conclude that he's very focused on the relationship between religious thought (particularly Christianity) and economic thought (particularly classical liberalism). One sign of just how little we actually know about this guy is Time Magazine's story this morning that is written -- not kidding here -- out of comments from Brat's ratemyprofessor site. I guess I find that pretty much astonishing.
Actually, I should probably be writing about Jack Trammell, too, who will be Brat's opponent in November. His most recent book is on the Richmond's lave market. When I'm back in the office I'll pull it from Davis Library.
The image is of Randolph Macon's Washington and Franklin Hall on their Ashland campus. (You may recall that RMC was in Boydton, Virginia, before The War.)