Heinrich Pesch
Heinrich Pesch, S. J.
Born(1854-09-17)17 September 1854
Cologne, German Confederation
Died1 April 1926(1926-04-01) (aged 71)
Valkenburg, Netherlands
Academic career
InfluencesRerum novarum

Heinrich Pesch, S.J. (17 September 1854 – 1 April 1926) was a German Roman Catholic ethicist and economist of the Solidarist school.[1][2][3][4] His major work, Lehrbuch der Nationalökonomie,[5] is generally regarded as a source for Pope Pius XI's social encyclical Quadragesimo anno.[6][7][8]


After studying law at Bonn, Pesch entered the Society of Jesus in 1876. He made his novitiate with exiled German Jesuits in the Netherlands. For his studies of philosophy (1878-1881) Pesch was sent to Bleijenbeek, also in the Netherlands. He completed his theological studies at Ditton Hall (1884-1888). While in England, Pesch lectured for a few years at the Stella Matutina school. He was ordained priest in 1888.

From 1892 until 1900 Pesch was spiritual director at the Mainz seminary, where he wrote his first book Liberalism, Socialism and Christian Order. Through lectures of the publicist Rudolf Meyer Pesch became acquainted with the teachings of Marx and Rodbertus. After a renewed study of economics with Schmoller and Wagner in Berlin (1900-1902), Pesch moved to Luxembourg and worked on his major opus Lehrbuch der Nationalökonomie. He died in 1926.


Works in English translation

See also


  1. ^ Wishloff, Jim. "Solidarist Economics: The Legacy of Heinrich Pesch," Review of Business 27 (2), 2006, pp. 33-46.
  2. ^ Mueller, Franz H. "Social Economics: The Perspective of Pesch on Solidarism," Review of Social Economy 35 (3), 1977.
  3. ^ Barron, Randall. "Solidarism and Heinrich Pesch," Forum for Social Economics 12 (1), 1982.
  4. ^ Tomanek, Jared Q. "Heinrich Pesch on Solidarist Economics," The Distributist Review, January 18, 2012.
  5. ^ "The monumental work of the German Jesuit Heinrich Pesch, Lehrbuch der Nationalökonomie, created an economic and social doctrine called solidarism. Pesch based his economic analysis on the bond, factual and moral, which unites the members of society with one another and the social whole, and the whole with its members. Since man is a being not merely social by nature, but whose actual existence is always in a concrete social environment, the abstract theories of individualism can neither explain nor guide society; on the other hand the socialist theories which tend toward denial and destruction of individual life make an equally unreal abstraction. Solidarism, a mean between these extremes, bases social unity on human nature and the common good. Since solidarism is a directive or ethical principle as well as an explicative principle it must be based on moral reality. The moral principle of social life is the common good. The basis of solidarism is the principle of the mutual rights and duties of society and its members. Pesch called this principle social justice." — Shields, Leo W. The History and Meaning of the Term Social Justice, Thesis (Ph. D.) University of Notre Dame, 1941, p. 37.
  6. ^ Grosschmid, Geza B. "Pesch's Concept of the Living Wage in 'Quadragesimo Anno'," Review of Social Economy 12 (2), 1954.
  7. ^ Ederer, Rupert J. "Heinrich Pesch, Solidarity, And Social Encyclicals," Review of Social Economy 49 (4), 1991.
  8. ^ Krason, Stephen M. "Principles of Heinrich Pesch's Solidarism," Archived 2013-12-17 at the Wayback Machine The Catholic Social Science Review 14, 2009, pp. 477-483.
  9. ^ Storck, Thomas. "Lehrbuch der Nationalokonomie/Teaching Guide to Economics, by Heinrich Pesch, translated by Rupert J. Ederer," The Chesterton Review 30 (3/4), Fall/Winter 2004.
  10. ^ Storck, Thomas. "A Giant Among Catholic Economists," Archived 2018-08-12 at the Wayback Machine New Oxford Review, February 2005.

Further reading

  • O'Boyle, Edward J. "Contributions of German and American Jesuits to Economics: The Last 100 Years," Forum for Social Economics 31 (2), Spring 2002.
  • Briefs, Goetz. "Economics of Heinrich Pesch," Social Order 3, December 1953.
  • Briefs, Goetz. "Pesch and his Contemporaries," Review of Social Economy 41 (3), 1983.
  • Ederer, Rupert J. "Juan Donoso Cortes, Heinrich Pesch and Solidarism: An Ethical Economic System," Social Justice Review 72, July 1981.
  • Ederer, Rupert J. "Solidarity, From Dogma to Economic System: Juan Donoso Cortes and Heinrich Pesch, S. J." International Journal of Social Economics 8 (5), 1981.
  • Ederer, Rupert J. "Heinrich Pesch's Solidarism and Boris Ischboldin's Scientific Reformism," International Journal of Social Economics 8 (7), 1981.
  • Harris, Abram L. "The Scholastic Revival: The Economics of Heinrich Pesch," Journal of Political Economy 54 (1), Feb., 1946.
  • Nell-Breuning, Oswald Von. "Peschian Interest Theory," Social Order 1, April 1951.
  • Messner, Johannes. "Fifty Years After the Death of Heinrich Pesch," Review of Social Economy 34 (2), October, 1976.
  • Montes, Guillermo. "The Scope of Economics and Related Questions: The Peschian View," Catholic Social Science Review 2, 1997.
  • Mulcahy, Richard E. "The Welfare Economics of Heinrich Pesch," The Quarterly Journal of Economics 63 (3), Aug., 1949.
  • Mulcahy, Richard E. "Economic Freedom in Pesch," Social Order 1, April 1951.
  • Mulcahy, Richard E. The Economics of Heinrich Pesch. New York: Henry Holt & Co., 1952.
  • Müller, Franz H. Heinrich Pesch and his Theory of Christian Solidarism, The College of St. Thomas, 1941.
  • Müller, Franz H. "The Principle of Solidarity in the Teachings of Father Henry Pesch, S. J.," Review of Social Economy 4 (1), 1946.
  • Müller, Franz H. "Rejecting Right and Left: Heinrich Pesch and Solidarism," Thought 26, December 1951.
  • Müller, Franz H. "Heinrich Pesch, SJ, 1854–1926: Social Economist in a Cassock", International Journal of Social Economics 11, 1984.
  • Schuyler, J. B. "Pesch and Christian Solidarism," Catholic Mind 42, June 1944.
  • Yenni, J. "Pesch's Goal of the Economy," Social Order 1, April 1951.