Following its publication in 2015, Pope Francis’s Laudato si’ continues to garner widespread attention and response, but by no means all of it positive. Similar to various pronouncements from the much beloved, much derided pope, this encyclical leaves many wondering how to reconcile what often appear as incomplete and conflicting conclusions. Entering into this fray, Pope Francis and the Caring Society presents an authentic and stimulating response to Francis’s invitation “to enter into dialogue” (Laudato si’, no. 3) and in so doing offers a model that is timely and enduring.

Edited by Robert Whaples, a research fellow with the Independent Institute and professor of economics at Wake Forest University, Pope Francis and the Caring Society endeavors to advance “the dialogue at a critical juncture” wherein Pope Francis has “called into question the benefits of free markets and advocated measures to protect the environment from excessive consumption and harmful production practices” (2). Following a brilliant foreword by the late Michael Novak, and Whaples’s own equally marvelous introduction, seven of today’s leading thinkers present a range of responses to Francis that are notable in their own right but also for the collective scope and balance they offer. By no means shy, Francis’s interlocuters are every bit as compelling and penetrating as the challenges and difficulties he raises. Robert Murphy, also a research fellow at the Independent Institute and research professor with the Free Market Institute at Texas Tech University, wraps up this formative work with a concluding essay aimed at bringing all “camps” together through “a more thoughtful reading of the other’s perspective” (202).