As Eastern European economies move to capitalism, many people there hope for a better life. But capitalism is no guarantee of prosperity. Economic deprivation, war, social marginalization, and powerlessness mark the lives of millions and spark social movements for economic justice aimed at correcting these conditions. Often these movements are based in religious communities, their activists motivated by religious commitment to human dignity and the need for personal empowerment. Although the new theology contains an economic critique, little dialogue has taken place between the religious and economic communities on matters of economic analysis. Religion and Economic Justice seeks to develop this exchange.
This book contains original essays by distinguished contributors from economics, religious ethics, and biblical studies. The authors provide a powerful critique of the individualism which underlies mainstream economic analysis and which fragments our communities, a critique that extends to the values implicit in the market system. The authors also show how social marginalization and economic deprivation are the consequences of economic organization, not simply the failings of individuals.
Contributors: Gregory Baum, Samuel Bowles, Pamela K. Brubacker, J. Baird Callicott, Herbert Gintis, Norman K. Gottwald, Francis Moore Lappé, Michael Lerner, Amata Miller, IHM, Ann Seidman, and the editor.
"A superb book, containing some of the best work of highly distinguished figures in economics, religious ethics, and biblical studies.... There is no doubt, this book is timely, diverse yet coherent, excellent, and engaging." Cornel West
"This collection of essays seeks to effect a junction between religiously based and Marxist critiques of the present economy and represents usefully a significant strand of critical thought." Kenneth J. Arrow, Joan Kenney Professor of Economics, Stanford University and Nobel Laureate in Economics
"The essays are all substantive, from prominent writers.... What is best about the book is its focus on new developments between theology and economic life and its fresh thoughts on the changes in theory and policy that we need."
Beverly Harrison, Union Theological Seminary