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Economist Robert Nelson is a professor of environmental policy in the University of Maryland School of Public Policy and a senior fellow of the Independent Institute. He is author of over 100 journal articles and edited book chapters, as well as nine books. Nelson is a nationally recognized authority in areas including the management of public land and zoning in the United States, but is best known for his books about the relationship between economics, environmentalism, and Christianity.
In a review of Economics As Religion: From Samuelson to Chicago and Beyond, economist Robert Tollison wrote that "Nelson's basic thesis is that economics is more like a religion than a science. In fact, he argues that economics in the twentieth century has virtually supplanted organized religion with a creed of material progress." Economist David Colander described Reaching for Heaven on Earth: The Theological Meaning of Economics as arguing that "the economics profession is the priesthood of a powerful secular religion." Nelson's book The New Holy Wars: Economic Religion versus Environmental Religion was silver medal winner in the "Finance, Investment, Economics" category of the 2010 Independent Publisher Book Awards.
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