Taxation and Redistribution: What the Christian Tradition Can Teach Us

Dr. Allen Calhoun

Allen Calhoun’s career has followed parallel tracks in law and theology. After completing seminary, he became a tax lawyer and earned an LL.M. in taxation. He received an M.Th. and then a Ph.D. in theological ethics from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. Dr. Calhoun’s Ph.D. project examined taxation from the perspectives of theological ethics and legal history.

Is taxation an instrument of justice or simply a source of revenue? The contemporary American tax discussion vacillates between these two views. In this talk, Calhoun argues that taxation is uniquely positioned to balance competing considerations, such as equity and efficiency, and that this role comes from the Christian tradition.