Series: What can behavioral economics teach us about theology?

Graphic showing many facets of thinking


Behavioral economists stress that unless we understand our full humanity, unless we understand that human beings aren’t totally rational beings, no theory will have much value. This six-part series by the Rev. Ken Evers-Hood explores how this idea might be applied to theology.

Renewing the mind without forgetting the flesh
Mainline seminaries form future leaders as if theology were the only thing that matters. But they should take a cue from business schools, where behavioral economics is on the rise. We need to recover a more human theology, says the Rev. Ken Evers-Hood.

Ken Evers-Hood: The struggle between our inner Esau and Jacob
Our brains are wired to have an automatic system and a thinking system. Sometimes, those halves are in a struggle in the lives of the people we lead and in ourselves.

Ken Evers-Hood: Checking our blind spots
To use Jesus’ language in the Gospel of Matthew, we all have logs in our eyes. While we can’t remove all the biases that cloud our judgment, we can remove their influence by being aware of them.

Ken Evers-Hood: Are our heuristics and biases sin?
Our ability to perceive the world around us is limited. A pastor argues that having blind spots is not sin, but failing to adjust for them is.

Ken Evers-Hood: Pastor as choice architect
Sometimes our defaults are inadequate, and it’s up to a leader to nudge a community toward a new set of choices.

Ken Evers-Hood: What does game theory teach us about theological reflection?
Theology is not just an intellectual exercise. A pastor writes that the church should engage game theory to ask questions about how human beings live out their faith.