Commoner Forum features former World Bank executive
March 31, 2009

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The public is invited to attend the Monday, April 6, 6:30 p.m. Commoner Forum in the Library to hear David Cowan speak about his book entitled Economic Parables: The Monetary Teachings of Jesus Christ. 

Cowan communicates from his rich and varied experiences, captivating his listening and reading audiences alike.  He has been a bank executive in Europe and North America for organizations such as Financial Times, Euromoney, and the World Bank Group in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Washington Times and the Times of London and has been interviewed by major print, television, and radio media, including CNBC, Bloomberg TV, The Wall Street Journal, and BBC Radio.

Of his 20-year career in the business world, Cowan says, “I’ve worked with and dealt with extremely wealthy and powerful people and worked in large, powerful institutions. I got closer to the action than I ever imagined I would. This experience, I believe, has given me a unique perspective when it comes to understanding the economy from a theological perspective.”

Having earned bachelor and master of theology degrees from the University of Oxford and a diploma in ministry from Westfield House, Cambridge, Cowan left the business world to serve as pastor of Our Saviour Lutheran Church, Fareham, England. He has also been a Lutheran chaplain to students at Oxford University and at Cambridge University; adjunct tutor at Westfield House, Cambridge; and a member of the Board of Advisors, Regent’s Park College, University of Oxford. He has delivered lectures and addresses at many universities, seminaries, and colleges, including Oxford, Cambridge, Princeton, and Charles University in Prague.

His latest book, Economic Parables, delivers the wisdom he gleaned both from his theology training and his real-world economic experience. In an age where popular opinion increasingly derides “the evils of capitalism,” Cowan continues to defend the merits of the free market economy in his current work as fulltime speaker and author.

Cowan asserts that the "free enterprise system (capitalism), for all its faults, works. This reality poses both a threat and an opportunity. The threat is to blindly bless the system; the opportunity is to utilize it as a tool to help improve our communities.  The system has weaknesses, of course, because it is a way of organizing human beings, and, therefore, like all things human, it is imperfect. But capitalism has lifted more people out of poverty than any plan advanced by socialists and other critics.”

Cowan visits the U.S. often, speaking at lectures and conferences. He and his wife will soon celebrate 18 years of marriage and make their home in the charming, peaceful town of Cluny, France. The couple has two teenage children.