David Brat’s Victory Comes with a Rise in the Crossroads of Religion and Economics

David Brat’s victory over Rep. Eric Cantor was a shocker, leading to the lightning-fast unearthing of Brat’s writings, such as those calling for Christians to “rise up” in defense of capitalism. But Brat is part of a bigger movement in recent years of overtly religious economists, particularly of the conservative Christian variety.

The rise of the Randolph-Macon College economist, who defeated Cantor in the Republican primary for the Virginia 7th Congressional District,comes as Pope Francis forces questions about theology and ethics onto a field that has often been hostile to the spiritual. How much the two men agree on, however, remains to be seen.

While other conservative religious economists this week scrambled to find publications of Brat to understand better his beliefs, they saw his moment as potentially very positive.

Jordan J. Ballor, a research fellow at the Acton Institute, a religion and liberty think tank, said Brat is part of a growing and more visible overlap between economic and religious conservatives.

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